WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star Awards are now in their eighth year.
The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 100 role models across 25 different industries and professions.
Over the year’s, the awards have recognised over 700 women across the UK and India.
In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a Rising Star award.
We spoke to Meera Chudasama, who won a Rising Star in Education & Academia Award in 2021.
My name is Meera Chudasama and I have 3 exciting roles.
• English, Media and Film Studies Teachers at Oakgrove School, Milton Keynes
• Research Lead, Oakgrove School, Milton Keynes
• Editor, Innovate Journal
In each role I am privileged to develop strong teaching and learning practices for other practitioners and myself. For myself, I have developed students as researcher who have taken part on research; this has lead to students leading and presenting their own findings to their peers. Such presentations have provided further evidence for the role of students academic research. Furthermore, I have been able to support students achieving their target grade; 70% and above for English and 98% for Film Studies coursework.
My love of teaching and learning led me work with a growing network of global practitioners. At the core of this network is Innovate Journal. I re-invented this journal and curate it by myself. As a result, I have grow an in-house teacher-research journal to an international platform that shares best teaching practice.
Alongside the journal, I connect with a (put a number in here) teachers to support their investigations into their practice; as well as working on a one-to-one level with teachers to develop their own action research in their unique contexts.
How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a Rising Star award?
I was incredibly honoured to have won, especially knowing that the accolade was voted for. I have never won a trophy before and was humbled by people taking there time to vote for me.
Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the Rising Star award?
My achievement was shared with those in my networks via LinkedIn, Twitter and through Teachers Talk Radio (as I was a presenter at the time). What’s more, many people commented and re-shared posts which allowed me to be further recognised. Since achieving the Rising Star Award I have had more opportunities in the field of research within education, delivered more seminars and have found more people emailing me for different opportunities.
What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?
Even if you feel a little worried or anxious about the process… IT’S WORTH IT! Being that #10percentbraver will enable you to be recognised for all that you are doing. Plus, if you have someone in mind and want to show your appreciation of them, nominating them for the award is vital – supporting others climb the ladder is my goal moving forward.
What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers?
Find the courses the interest you and commit to them; find the networks that speak true to you and connect; find ways to upskill and develop your own skillset. I have found little ways to develop and sharpen my skills through the pandemic and into ‘normal’ working life; it’s definitely the little steps that have been contributing to my confidence and sense of self. The most powerful tool is speaking to others!