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Transforming realities through arts and education

Andria Zafirakou

Event: London Peace Talks 2018
Location: Salesforce Tower
Date: 11/12/2018

 “I’m an arts and textiles teacher and for some reason I was voted the best teacher of the world this year and I am an arts and textiles teacher, which is quite astonishing, but I absolutely get it. And I get it because the arts are being squeezed out of most curriculums throughout the world. And that is a problem because I’ve seen how transformational, how incredible the arts are. They bring our children courage, they bring our children resilience, they make them better communicators. They encourage them to work in teams. And I think for me the most important thing that I’ve seen in my students is how resilient they become. How they do not fear failure.”

The 2018 winner of the Global Teacher Prize, Andria Zafirakou, shares with us the power of education and arts in one of the most challenging circumstances where students share a house with multiple families and take care of their younger siblings. For Andria, the key to the success of her school is developing trust-based relationships with her students, making sure each of them feels included and have all the resources they need to thrive.

London Peace Talks 2018. Recorded at the Salesforce Tower on December 11, 2018.


Andria Zafirakou

Andria is the 2018 Global Teacher Prize Winner. She teaches at Alperton Community School, a secondary school academy located in one of the most ethnically diverse places in the UK. Students come from some of the poorest families in Britain and are exposed to gang violence. Working as an art and textiles teacher and as a member of the senior leadership team, Andria redesigned the curriculum across all subjects from scratch while working alongside other teachers so that it resonates with her pupils. While recognizing the importance of a quality curriculum and discipline, Andria focuses on building trust-based relationships with her students. Thanks to Andria’s multiple initiatives to help student’s reach their highest potential, Alperton is now in the top 1 to 5% of the country in terms of qualifications and accreditations and has been awarded the Institute of Education’s Professional Development Platinum Mark, an honor fewer than 10 British schools have ever achieved.