Londoner receives $1 million for ‘World’s Best Teacher’
Andria Zafirakou, an arts and textiles teacher from Alperton community school in northwest London, has been presented with the fourth annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher prize worth $1 million at a ceremony in Dubai.
“Too often, we neglect this power of the arts to actually transform lives, particularly in the poorest communities,” she said at the ceremony, which was attended by notables such as former United States Vice President Al Gore, former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.
“I have seen how the arts help students to communicate. The arts help to give so much confidence and really create incredible young people,” added Zafirakou, who is of Greek origin.
Working in a diverse neighborhood where more than 130 languages are spoken, she is known to be able to use basic phrases to greet the pupils in more than 30 languages including Gujarati, Hindi and Tamil.
Akkuş was praised for her “Daddy Tell Me a Story” campaign to increase the participation of fathers in pre-school education and Turkey’s first “multi-intelligence game hall,” where different groups of children are combined to share interests and abilities.