Two teachers won this year’s competition scoring exactly the same number of points. Mr Putin presented the main prize – the Big Crystal Pelican – to Vita Kirichenko, a Russian language and literature teacher at the Moscow Education Centre, and to Alexander Demakhin, who teaches world art at Sergiyev Posad High School.
The President congratulated all teachers on their upcoming professional holiday – Teachers’ Day.
Russia has been holding the Teacher of the Year competition since 1992. The competition takes place in several stages. Over 100,000 school teachers took part in the first selection round in 2012, and 77 people made it to the final.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
I want to congratulate you all and your colleagues on your upcoming professional holiday – Teachers’ Day, which falls on October 5. This is one of our most touching and symbolic holidays, comparable probably only to the Day of Knowledge on September 1, when we honour our schoolchildren, and their teachers too of course, and express our overall gratitude and respect for the noble work of the teachers and mentors who play such a big part in the lives of each and every one of us.
”Russia’s teaching profession was always distinguished by the way it combines innovative spirit with faithfulness to tradition. This tight intertwining of continuity and development is very important for our national education system and for preserving the best in our teaching and education traditions.“
Autumn marks the start of the school year, and so it is symbolically fitting that the final of the Teacher of the Year competition should take place at this time. The final is the most difficult and important round and the culmination of a whole year’s preparation. I know that there were more than 100,000 teachers taking part at the start of the competition. When I first glanced at the documents I thought they said 100 teachers, but then I looked more carefully and saw it was 100,000. This certainly makes for a big group of talented and worthy people.
Among them all, you have proven your right to be named as leaders in your profession in Russia. I am sincerely happy for you, for your schools, which are proud of you, and for your students of course. It is always a stroke of good fortune in childhood and youth to meet truly gifted teachers and mentors with knowledge and initiative, reflective and purposeful.
There are teachers of different generations among the finalists. Some are young and others have years of experience and have already set hundreds of school graduates on the road into adult life. This shows that our young teachers are gaining experience fast, and that our older teachers are keeping pace with the times and constantly honing their skills.
I recall when I visited a school – I think I mentioned it publicly at the time – I saw a teacher, already of a venerable age, sitting at a computer and working on the internet. “Do you find it interesting?” I asked her. “It’s so interesting that I don’t want to retire,” she replied. That is a good sign.
Russia’s teaching profession was always distinguished by the way it combines innovative spirit with faithfulness to tradition. This tight intertwining of continuity and development is very important for our national education system and for preserving the best in our teaching and education traditions.
”Our schools should be open to all that is new – in fact, this has always been the case – and at the same time, they should preserve what makes them unique, preserve the roots and values that our society has developed over the centuries, and not just teach, but nurture and develop people and citizens.“
Our schools should be open to all that is new – in fact, this has always been the case – and at the same time, they should preserve what makes them unique, preserve the roots and values that our society has developed over the centuries, and not just teach, but nurture and develop people and citizens. I believe this is the approach that should underlie and shape our state education policy. We will develop this policy together, through direct dialogue with the teaching community, with you, friends.
Teachers are set to play a bigger part in schools’ lives and in organising the teaching process. Training and professional development for teachers and a new wage payment system designed to encourage quality and conscientious work are all top priorities for developing our schools.
Our task is to give teachers working and living conditions worthy of their noble mission and to give the teaching profession greater prestige. It is after all a tremendous responsibility to teach and educate our children and devote one’s efforts to our schools, which lay the foundations of our children’s futures and shape their personalities, goals, behaviour, and way of thinking.
Teachers, like doctors, cannot afford to make mistakes, and the state authorities must therefore do everything possible to enable teachers to concentrate fully on their work and give them every opportunity they need to realise their potential and pass on to students not just their knowledge and skills but also, through their own examples, cultivate an honest and deeply conscientious approach to work.
All of the finalists in the Teacher of the Year competition give us just such examples. I thank you all sincerely for your devoted spirit and high professionalism, and I wish you success, good health, and new achievements.