The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has marked World Teachers Day 2021 by honouring the top trio of exceptional teachers for their dedication and contribution to the profession, as well as the launch of a duo of new initiatives aimed at empowering industry professionals.
Principals from Private and Charter Schools were invited to submit nominations for their outstanding teachers, and submissions went through a rigorous selection process, resulting in ADEK’s judging panel selecting the top three winners. The judging criteria explored how the teachers had significantly made an impact in their classrooms and on the learning outcomes of students, what differentiates them from their peers, and how they have made an organizational difference. The winners were surprised at their schools with student testimonials, a presentation of prizes, and a trophy.
Speaking about World Teachers Day, H.E. Sara Musallam said: “Today, we pay tribute to all of Abu Dhabi’s teachers, we thank you for your hard work, dedication, and passion. We recognize that to have a world-class education ecosystem, we need world-class educators, and the winning teachers we celebrate on World Teachers Day embody the highest standards of industry professionalism. They have made a truly life-changing impact on their students and school community, inspiring countless young minds, acting as role models and mentors.”
Selected for their remarkable professionalism, dedication, contribution, and passion, this year’s winners of the World Teachers Day Awards 2021 are Rebecca Vasconcelos, Class Teacher at Gems World Academy; Michele Pienaar, Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi International Private School- Branch 1; and Santhi Gopinathan, Head of Faculty Subject Level and Computer Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi Indian School- Branch 1.
Rebecca Vasconcelos, Class Teacher at Gems World Academy said; “I am incredibly honoured to have been nominated and to have won this award. It symbolizes a token of appreciation and recognition for all teachers who have chosen to take on one of the hardest years in education and positively reflect it into meaningful life experiences for themselves, their students, and their learning community. It’s a phenomenal achievement that I will always consider as a highlight of my career.”
For her part Michele Pienaar, Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi International Private School- Branch 1 commented; “A great teacher is someone with passion and compassion, knowing balance and how to be innovative. I would like to say thank you to my students past and present for making it easy for me to love my job.”
Santhi Gopinathan, Head of Faculty Subject Level and Computer Science Teacher at Abu Dhabi Indian School- Branch 1 said; “As teachers, we should be patient and knowledgeable as no student is the same, we should always encourage our students to face the world. It is important to have a passion for this profession and one must merely not view this as just a job. I want to thank the entire school staff and students for their support, I would not have received this award without them.”
The winners’ prizes included Business Etihad return tickets to a destination of their choice, flowers, and an appreciation trophy.
To further mark the occasion, ADEK launched a dedicated Teachers Hotline, a direct communication channel for Abu Dhabi’s Private and Charter Schools teachers to share their suggestions and opinions, have questions answered, as well as voice any concerns they may have.
Meanwhile, ADEK released ‘Welcome to Your New Home’ – a guide designed for industry professionals who are joining schools in the emirate, to help them navigate their new life and to familiarize them with ADEK and Abu Dhabi’s education ecosystem. To further help new recruits immerse themselves in the diverse leisure and cultural attractions Abu Dhabi has to offer, the guide is complemented by an Entertainer voucher book, enabling them to explore their new home.