06 JUNE 2019

2019 Dedicated Teacher Awards winner Q & A

2019 Dedicated Teacher Awards winner Q & A

All around the world teachers do fantastic work. The Dedicated Teacher Awards is a global competition to celebrate teachers and a way to say thank you.

From 50 shortlisted teachers, Ahmed Saya from Cordoba School in Pakistan was voted as the winner of the 2019 Dedicated Teacher Awards.

Ahmed had such an admirable and humble response when we told him he had won the awards. He said, "I'm so grateful to my students who thought so highly of me. I am proud of them and I hope I make a positive difference in their lives."

We wanted to find out what teaching means to Ahmed and his inspiration for becoming a teacher.

What does it mean to win the 2019 Dedicated Teacher Awards?

Winning the Dedicated Teacher Awards is like a dream come true. All teachers are very dedicated, but no one works for any particular award. We all work to make students better students. Winning this award, I feel like I am king of the world. It's like winning a world cup for your country. The most important aspect is representing your country on international forum and making your country proud is a big achievement. I am extremely happy and extremely proud.

What makes a dedicated teacher?

A dedicated teacher is one who thinks that he or she is responsible for not only finishing the curriculum or the syllabus but is also responsible for shaping and moulding a child in such a manner that they become responsible people of the society. A dedicated teacher has good character, the best values, good ethics and moral behaviour. They ensure that a student is learning not only from the curriculum, but also learning from the behaviour of the teacher. A teacher should present himself or herself in such a manner that students consider that teacher as a role model, someone that a child looks up to.

Why did you become a teacher?

I started teaching when I was at grade 9 initially to finance my own studies and to become a self-made person. I soon realised that teaching is not a profession, it is a passion, and it comes from within. I also realised that it's a very big responsibility. I think teachers are the biggest change agents because they can nurture young minds, they can nourish young souls, and they can guide the students through the right path. I thought that becoming a teacher was the most important task; it's the one profession that gives birth to all other professions.

Which teacher inspired you?

My own teachers are the ones who inspired me. They are the ones who motivated me to become a teacher. My teachers ensured that every child is not only taught the curriculum, but also taught life and they inspired me to become like them.

Do you have a memorable teaching moment?

Each child is different, each class is different and hence every day is a different learning moment, is a memorable moment. The best moment occurs when a child who literally hates math comes up to me telling me that he or she hates math and eventually improves into an outstanding student. It's the most memorable moment because you can feel the change in the child.

If you would like to find out more about Ahmed and register your interest for the 2020 Cambridge University Press' Dedicated Teacher Awards, head over to the website now.