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Giving Compass' Take:
• The 74 talks with Andria Zafirakou — a London-based educator who was named "world's greatest teacher" — about her advocacy for arts education and her effort to start a nonprofit to connect students with professional artists.
• Zafirakou notes that music and arts classes are often cut first when school budgets get tight. How can we push back against this trend in the U.S. through more education funding?
• Here's how arts education can help train tomorrow's workforce.
On a recent visit to New York City, Andria Zafirakou spoke at an event in her honor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, participated in sessions at the World Economic Forum, met students at a Brooklyn high school, and even threw out the first pitch at a New York Mets game.
The whirlwind visit was fit for a celebrity or a foreign ambassador, and, in many ways, Zafirakou is both. She was named the “world’s greatest teacher” earlier this year.
Zafirakou is the fourth annual winner of the Global Teacher Prize, an honor bestowed by the Varkey Foundation that comes with a $1 million check.
An arts and textiles teacher from Brent, in northwestern London, Zafirakou is using the money to create a program to connect London schools with professional artists, who will visit the schools and talk to students about their work and career paths.
While Zafirakou is based in London, her global message clearly resonates in the United States. Scores on the art and music sections of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the test known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” are underwhelming — in part because many students lack access to arts and music classes, often the first to go when budgets get tight.
Read the full article about the teacher connecting students with artists by Laura Fay at The 74.