#009 – The Life Pedagogic: Andria Zafirakou

31st May 2023

The Youth and Education Podcast is delighted to welcome Andria Zafirakou to take us through her Life Pedagogic.

Born to Greek-Cypriot migrant parents, Andria has been a teacher of Art & Design and a senior leader at Alperton Community School in North London for 16 years. In 2018 she faced off against 5,000 other entries from across the world to win the Global Teacher Prize, being crowned ‘the best teacher in the world’. The award recognised her compassionate and community-based approach to education which emphasises creating space for and giving voice to migrant children, heavy involvement in her pupil’s lives and making the arts accessible to all young people.

Andria has subsequently become one of the country’s major public voices on issues in education, writing a bestselling book on her experience in the classroom, ‘Those who can, Teach’, with a new publication ‘Lessons in Life’ just published. She also used the £1 million Global Teacher Prize money to found ‘Artists in Residence’, a charity that gives young people the opportunity to access and understand how expressive arts can become a viable career path.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Baz and Andria discuss:

  • How her experience as a child of migration shapes her approach to teaching
  • Learning greetings and basics in 32 language to make recently migrated pupils feel welcome in Andria’s school
  • Confronting then prime minister, Theresa May, and Nick Gibb on their education policy decisions, over a cup of tea
  • How to square the need for teachers to go ‘above and beyond’ with the need to reduce teacher workloads
  • What more needs to be done to allow the expressive arts to achieve their potential in helping all young people thrive

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Music credits:

‘Inspiring Ambience’ by Scott Holmes from http://freemusicarchive.org

Want to contact us?

[email protected] / @AlixHRobertson

[email protected] / @Barristotle