GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys teacher Annamma Lucy has been awarded the global dedicated teacher prize for 2021, seeing off worthy competition from six international finalists.
Last month she was announced as a regional winner, much to her surprise and delight, but the announcement of being overall winner stunned the humble social studies teacher. On winning the award, she said: “I feel overwhelmed with joy after winning this prestigious award and it will motivate me for years to come. I truly believe that this success is because of ‘we’, not because of ‘me’.”
The prize, from the world’s oldest publisher Cambridge University Press, recognises and rewards teachers that go above and beyond their duties, and this year specifically focussed on their efforts during the height of the pandemic. Annamma was nominated by her students and colleagues for the prize and gained more than 30 per cent of the public vote to win the top spot.
During the pandemic Annamma created the ‘Learning Journey’ programme that was attended by 82 students during the summer holidays. She organised motivational speakers and other teachers from across the GEMS network to speak to and inspire her students.
Annamma has dedicated her life to teaching, raising the prospects of the less fortunate, and the education of children. This unquenchable passion stems from her own upbringing in India, where as an orphan from the age of three, she was raised by the Good Shepherd Nuns in Bengaluru. She began teaching in 1997 at the Good Shepherd Convent Girls’ High School before joining GEMS in 2007.
The proof of a great teacher is always in the student, and her students at OOB say she’s an “inspiration”.
Along with the title of the award, Annamma will receive AED2,578 worth of Cambridge University Press books for her school, she will also be invited to participate in the Cambridge Panel – an online community of specialists who will shape the Press’ education publishing, as well as gaining publicity for the school.
Congratulations, Annamma, you’re an inspiration to us all!