Institute of Education alumna crowned world’s best teacher

Illustration of a lady receiving a prize

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Portico magazine, published December 2018.

A UCL Institute of Education (IOE) alumna has been announced as the world’s best teacher, after winning the $1m Global Teacher Prize 2018.

Andria Zafirakou (PGCE Art and Design), an art and textiles teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent, was shortlisted from more than 30,000 people for the award. She was nominated not just for her subject teaching, but for earning the trust of her pupils and their families, helping her to understand their complex lives. She used this knowledge to work alongside other teachers to redesign the curriculum across all subjects from scratch, ensuring it would resonate with her pupils.

She also helped vulnerable pupils to stay out of danger by escorting them home, visiting their families, and setting up clubs and societies to keep them off the streets, and could greet pupils in each one of the 35 languages spoken at the school.

The ceremony took place at the Global Education & Skills Forum, an event that saw speakers including former prime minister Tony Blair, Olympic champion Mo Farah and IOE Director Professor Becky Francis.

In her acceptance speech, Zafirakou, the first UK winner of the prize, said: “I’m so humbled to accept this award, not just for myself but on behalf of every teacher who is making an amazing amount of difference in their communities.”

She paid tribute to her pupils and colleagues, and teachers throughout the world, and had a message for students everywhere. “Whatever your circumstances, whatever your troubles, please know that you have the potential to succeed in whatever your dreams may be. And that is a right that nobody should take from you.”

The Global Teacher Prize was set up four years ago by the Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world.

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Portico magazine, published December 2018.

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Portico magazine, published December 2018.

A UCL Institute of Education (IOE) alumna has been announced as the world’s best teacher, after winning the $1m Global Teacher Prize 2018.

Andria Zafirakou (PGCE Art and Design), an art and textiles teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent, was shortlisted from more than 30,000 people for the award. She was nominated not just for her subject teaching, but for earning the trust of her pupils and their families, helping her to understand their complex lives. She used this knowledge to work alongside other teachers to redesign the curriculum across all subjects from scratch, ensuring it would resonate with her pupils.

She also helped vulnerable pupils to stay out of danger by escorting them home, visiting their families, and setting up clubs and societies to keep them off the streets, and could greet pupils in each one of the 35 languages spoken at the school.

The ceremony took place at the Global Education & Skills Forum, an event that saw speakers including former prime minister Tony Blair, Olympic champion Mo Farah and IOE Director Professor Becky Francis.

In her acceptance speech, Zafirakou, the first UK winner of the prize, said: “I’m so humbled to accept this award, not just for myself but on behalf of every teacher who is making an amazing amount of difference in their communities.”

She paid tribute to her pupils and colleagues, and teachers throughout the world, and had a message for students everywhere. “Whatever your circumstances, whatever your troubles, please know that you have the potential to succeed in whatever your dreams may be. And that is a right that nobody should take from you.”

The Global Teacher Prize was set up four years ago by the Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world.

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Portico magazine, published December 2018.

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Portico magazine, published December 2018.

A UCL Institute of Education (IOE) alumna has been announced as the world’s best teacher, after winning the $1m Global Teacher Prize 2018.

Andria Zafirakou (PGCE Art and Design), an art and textiles teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent, was shortlisted from more than 30,000 people for the award. She was nominated not just for her subject teaching, but for earning the trust of her pupils and their families, helping her to understand their complex lives. She used this knowledge to work alongside other teachers to redesign the curriculum across all subjects from scratch, ensuring it would resonate with her pupils.

She also helped vulnerable pupils to stay out of danger by escorting them home, visiting their families, and setting up clubs and societies to keep them off the streets, and could greet pupils in each one of the 35 languages spoken at the school.

The ceremony took place at the Global Education & Skills Forum, an event that saw speakers including former prime minister Tony Blair, Olympic champion Mo Farah and IOE Director Professor Becky Francis.

In her acceptance speech, Zafirakou, the first UK winner of the prize, said: “I’m so humbled to accept this award, not just for myself but on behalf of every teacher who is making an amazing amount of difference in their communities.”

She paid tribute to her pupils and colleagues, and teachers throughout the world, and had a message for students everywhere. “Whatever your circumstances, whatever your troubles, please know that you have the potential to succeed in whatever your dreams may be. And that is a right that nobody should take from you.”

The Global Teacher Prize was set up four years ago by the Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world.

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Portico magazine, published December 2018.