Those Who Can, Teach
The powerful, inspiring story of Andria Zafirakou, 'the best teacher in the world', and what it takes to work on the frontlines of education today

Arts teacher Andria Zafirakou was always a rule-breaker. At her inner-city London school where over a hundred languages are spoken, she would sense urgent needs; mending uniforms, calling social services, shielding vulnerable teens from gangs. And she would tailor each class to its pupils, fiercely believing in the power of art to unlock trauma, or give a mute child the confidence to speak. Time and again, she would be proved right.

So in 2018, when Andria won the million-dollar Global Teacher Prize, she knew exactly where the money would go: back into arts education for all. Because today, the UK government's cuts and curriculum changes are destroying the arts, while their refusal to tackle the most dangerous threats faced by children - cyber-bullying, gang violence, hunger and deprivation - puts teachers on the safeguarding frontline.

Andria's story is a rallying wake-up call that shows what life is really like for schoolchildren today, and a moving insight into the extraordinary people shaping the next generation.

'A magic combination of belief and compassion' Financial Times

'Andria Zafirakou should be an inspiration to all' i

'Zafirakou's generosity offers a gleam of hope in a world that can seem unremittingly dark' Guardian

'An amazing person . . . What struck me was just her sheer joy' Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

'Where others might have given up, Andria has made it her mission to ensure [her students] get the best possible start in life' Daily Mail

Those Who Can, Teach

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  • Andria Zafirakou was born in north-west London to Greek-Cypriot parents and attended state schools in Brent and Camden. She has worked her entire teaching career of fourteen years at Alperton Community School, where she is an art and textiles teacher and Associate Deputy Headteacher. Her willingness to go above and beyond for her students saw her win the Global Teacher Prize, dubbed the ?Nobel of Teaching', in March 2018. With the prize money of $1 million, Andria set up Artists in Residence, a charity that brings professional artists into disadvantaged schools across the UK. In 2019, she was appointed an MBE for her services to education. She is a Culture Leader for the World Economic Forum and a member of the Global Future Leaders Council, and has been named one of the top ten most influential people in London by the Evening Standard. She lives in London with her husband and two daughters.

    @Andriazaf
  • Hardback | 288 pages | 9781526614063