As Jacques Barzun said “teaching is not a lost art, but a regard for it is a lost tradition”. Sadly this is true and because of this with the foundation Živojin Mišić, founded by Devana Technologies, we are here to support, encourage and show respect for our teachers.
It seems that too often people forget to give back, to appreciate the hard work of others and to help those that need it the most. Here at Devana, we believe in giving back and we have chosen to do this by investing in the future of our society, in our children. We have decided to help teachers that are exceptional and that go the extra mile every day in order to better the lives of our children.
Teaching is a Noble Profession
By definition to teach is to impart knowledge or skill, but today a teacher’s role is not only to teach, it is to inspire. Teaching is considered to be one of the oldest and most noble professions, and rightly so because moulding children’s minds takes a lot of patience, practice and preparation. This is a profession that holds a lot of responsibility and requires lifelong devotion. We send our children every day to school and leave them in the safe hands of teachers.
But when did society stop investing in teachers, in the role models of our children? We invest in technology, in science, in medicine, because with these advancements we improve quality of life. We can create new technology, cure incurable diseases and discover new molecules. The results are “visible”, we can observe the progress we make and so our investment seems worthwhile. And it is. If you take a step back and look at the big picture, you will see that in order to truly advance as a society, we need to invest in people. Investing in teaching is investing in people.
The Idea Behind the Best Teachers of Serbia
The idea behind The Teachers of Serbia, is to provide a support system for our teachers and to raise awareness for teaching as a profession, to remind people of its importance. It’s time to say thank you to those of us who inspire our children, who listen to them when they need it and who provide guidance. The Teachers of Serbia is an award aimed at teachers who are not afraid to try something new, to push their limits and motivate their pupils. We are looking for teachers who have achieved groundbreaking results with their pupils. By giving these monetary awards, we are aiming to lend a helping hand with any activities or materials that these teachers need. Our intent is to help them financially, but also show them appreciation for their hard work. We hope that the money will open a door of possibilities and new ways to help our children learn.
The Logistics of the Awards
Each year between 10 and 20 teachers are selected for the awards. They can be registered by anyone who considers them to be exceptional teachers, including friends, family, pupils, colleagues and parents. Registration for this year will open in April 2016.
The process of selection is done in more than one stage with the winners being awarded at the end of the year. A ceremony is organized where the spotlight is on the teachers and the awards are handed out. This year’s ceremony was a success, where everyone enjoyed themselves.
How We Pick’Em
After we have received all of the applications, there are several rounds of selection. The first round is judged by the organisation Živojin Misić, and last years winners. In the final few rounds educational institutions and educational influencers are called upon to help decide.
What We Look For
Teachers that we reward are considered to be innovators in their field. They are proactive in their work and invest their time in bettering each lesson. They think of new and interesting ways to teach and they inspire their students. They are there for their pupils even outside of lessons. They are teachers that go above and beyond.
Jim Henson once said “[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” This is why we look for certain values in our teachers, because these values will be the ones our children adapt and grow up with.
Here are some of the values we hold dear:
- Innovative and Creative – A teacher always looking to find new and creative ways of teaching.
- Great Subject Knowledge – A teacher who knows their content and knows how to explain it.
- Positive and Motivated – A teacher that is motivated and enthusiastic about teaching.
- Constantly Improving – Learning never stops. A teacher who is constantly looking to expand their knowledge and enjoys learning.
- Eloquent and Communicative – A teacher that speaks eloquently and has great communication skills.
- Organized – A teacher that is organized and has clear aims for each lesson.
- Honest – A teacher that is honest and treats everyone equally.
- Encouraging – A teacher that is ready to encourage students. Students make mistakes and that’s how they learn. A teacher needs to be there to let them know it’s ok to make a mistake and to try again.
What the Awards Mean
The awards are not meant to stroke anyone’s ego rather show appreciation and to stand as a reminder of how important teaching as a profession is. By awarding teachers we are sharing their values, efforts and at the same time hoping to inspire other teachers to follow their lead. The project coordinator, Lela Đokić said “It’s about taking the initiative and being different in your profession”, that’s what it all comes down to.
… Join in
Devana is grateful for all of the applications and interest shown in this project so far. It means that our enthusiasm is catching on when it comes to supporting our teachers and improving the education system in Serbia. If you believe to know an exceptional teacher, then join in the cause, register someone and show them and others you appreciate and value their work.