The World’s Best Teacher

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My favourite story of the week was about the UK's Andria Zafirakou winning the Global Teacher Prize Photo: EPA

My favourite story of the week was about the UK’s Andria Zafirakou winning the Global Teacher Prize. The art and textiles teacher from London is the first British holder of the title and picked up a cheque for $1m (£720,000).
Teachers often get a bad rap for being too trendy or too left wing or too incompetent to stay in their posts. So it was a joy to read of her selfless devotion to her pupils. This includes organising breakfast clubs and extra lessons so they can do their homework in peace and quiet after she discovered that some of them study in their bathrooms because of a lack of space at home.
Zafirakou teaches at Alperton community school in Brent, one of the poorest parts of the country. Pupils hail from a variety of backgrounds and 35 languages are spoken among them. To forge closer links with the children she visited families in their homes and learned basic phrases in Hindi, Tamil and other languages. She also helped a music teacher launch a Somali school choir and created a girls-only sports club. Thanks in part to her efforts Alperton is in the top 1 to 5% of schools in the UK for qualifications.
You cannot put a price on the value of a good teacher and the life-transforming effects they can have on their students. But a cheque for one million dollars is not a bad place to start.

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper

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