When you read the words, ‘O Captain! My Captain!’ what do you think of? This line originates from a poem of the same name by Walt Whitman, but there’s a good chance you’re thinking of that scene in Dead Poet’s Society.
For anyone unfamiliar with what is probably one of Robin Williams’ best films, it involves students clambering on their desks and repeating the refrain in honour of their beloved teacher, played by Williams.
Despite the important role that teachers play in our lives, it’s very rare that there’s an occasion like this to express our gratitude. We wanted to help change this.
In October 2018, we launched the Dedicated Teacher Awards to recognise the hard work that teachers do every day. The awards is a global competition in which people of all ages nominate teachers who have made a difference to their lives.
After 4,000 nominations from 75 countries, to 50 shortlisted entries, a panel of educational experts chose their top six finalists. After a global public vote and receiving a staggering 80% majority Ahmed Saya from Cordoba School for A-Level in Karachi, Pakistan was named the winner.
Ahmed has been a maths and accounting teacher for 18 years, while also finding time to train teachers and work at a school for underprivileged students.He was nominated for preparing his students for life after schooling:
“He’ll always be ready to spare his weekends whenever a student needs his help, be it academically or anything personal. I have seen him when CAIEs approach, he spends sleepless nights, conducting extra classes, catering each and every student’s problem so that each one excels. I have never seen someone who checks your homework every day in a class of 100 students just to ensure that each and every one is on track. He actually deserves this for working so hard to ensure that his students are good humans.”
Well done to Ahmed and all the dedicated teachers nominated for the 2019 awards. To nominate your teacher for the Dedicated Teacher Awards or to read past entries go to dedicatedteacher.cambridge.org.