Everyone remembers at least one of their schoolteachers; the lenient Geography teacher, perhaps, or the cranky Mathematics teacher – or perhaps the teacher whose inspiration and support left an indelible mark on their formative years and the significant role of teachers in children’s lives.
It’s a big question. Just how important are teachers to a student’s development, and in shaping the next generation of leaders and workers? Genetics and family are strong factors, but so too are environmental ones, and an individual’s school years are without doubt a powerful contributor to how his or her future is likely to unfold.
A great teacher can see more in a child than they see in themselves. They take a genuine interest in a child’s wellbeing. They encourage children to think outside of the box. They create young engaged learners, inspiring them to look beyond simple answers and facts. As role models and trusted advisors, teachers can motivate and undoubtedly change lives.
In Singapore, employees of the diverse international school community comprise a smorgasbord of nationalities and personalities, with an incredible diversity of experience. One outstanding example is GEMS World Academy Singapore (GWA), where the educators have an average of 15 years of international teaching experience. Last year, less than one percent of the 90,000 applicants for teaching positions throughout the GEMS global network of international school were hired.
GWA Singapore looks for expert and forward-thinking people who are passionate about education excellence and making a difference. They’re not only highly trained but they also truly love educating children and are committed to their vocation. They understand that GWA Singapore students will show them more than they will ever teach from the front of a classroom.
But recruiting the highest quality teachers is just the start. GWA teachers never stop learning. They have access to the largest in-house education and professional development programme in the world, which is integral to ensuring the best possible academic outcomes for students. Weekly staff development keeps teaching staff abreast of the latest developments in best practice and education research, ensuring they remain in top form.
Launched in 2014, the Global Teacher Prize emphasises the importance of the teaching profession. The prize recognises one extraordinary teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. With $1 million up for grabs, not only is this an incredible accolade, but an amazing prize as well. Check out the inspiring acceptance speech of last year’s winner Nancie Atwell from the United States at globalteacherprize.org/winner. Is there a teacher that you feel should be recognised? Make your nomination at globalteacherprize.org before 10 October.
Teachers around the world
Results from the 2013 Global Teacher Index, which surveyed 1,000 people across 21 countries, showed the following:
- Brazil ranks highest for trusting teachers to deliver a good education;
- Over 40 percent of Germans believe that pupils disrespect their teachers, which is high in comparison with other countries in the study;
- In Singapore, the majority of respondents would encourage their own children to become teachers, with only 20 percent stating they would not;
- China affords the highest status to teachers, ranking them equal to doctors; this is followed by Singapore, New Zealand and Turkey. On the other end of the spectrum, fewer than 5 percent of people in the UK believe teachers have an equivalent status.
GEMS World Academy Singapore
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