London teacher named among global top 10 for $1m award

The Telegraph reports that a north London teacher, who is among 10 finalists around the world in the running for a million-dollar teaching prize, has warned of the poor living conditions of some of her pupils. 

Andria Zafirakou, a teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent, north-west London, has made it onto the shortlist for the fourth annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, which recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

Ms Zafirakou said she decided to submit an application after reading about it.

“When you read about why they are doing this – sharing good practice, raising the profile of teachers and how fundamental they are in society – that was why I wanted to apply,” she told the Press Association.

She has learnt how to say basic greetings in many of the 35 languages spoken at the school, including Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and Portuguese, to help parents feel welcome and included.

Ms Zafirakou has helped to set up clubs and societies for students, redesigned the curriculum with her fellow teachers to make it relevant to pupils’ lives, and is known for taking time to understand her students’ lives, such as visiting their homes, taking the bus with them and welcoming them at the school gates.

In a video message announcing the nominations, Bill Gates paid tribute to the finalists, saying research has shown that a great teacher can be “the most important factor” in whether students get a great education.

Read the full article London teacher named among global top 10 for $1m award

Good Luck Andria! Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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