Super Teacher of the Year

This year, the Super Teacher of the Year competition was announced for the fifth time in Hungary. Based on the evaluation of the professional jury and the aggregation of the fourteen thousand audience votes, Ferenc Sarkadi, teacher of the Kölcsey Ferenc Reformed Primary School in Debrecen was awarded the title. An interview published in Reformátusok Lapja, the Weekly of RCH.

Teachers who demonstrate excellence and uniqueness in using special methods within the Hungarian School system were expected to apply for the Super Teacher of the Year competition. The acclaimed teacher was inspired by two things when he took on the challenge: one is that he loves competition, and the other is that in applying he can draw attention to the beauties of the profession. “I find that there are many good educators and teachers in our country, but few people know about their quality work, thus they get recognition almost only from their immediate environment. When I came across the application, I thought about how good an opportunity it is for me to step forward and demonstrate that there are inspiring moments in our profession. I wanted to show that teaching and learning can be exciting.”

Photo: István Derencsényi

In his application, Ferenc Sarkadi proved that digital education offers many opportunities despite the difficulties. In addition to biology and nature studies, he teaches physical education. It was especially difficult to start anything with the latter, because teachers were left without a tool regarding PE. The other two, on the other hand, are fundamentally diverse subjects, and this could be highlighted even more in the digital environment. “I consider it important to think logically, and to develop this skill which is not typical of our education system. I also try during in-person education to encourage students to use their existing knowledge creatively, and draw consequences on their own. Online education has complemented this, which is a huge opportunity. We can say that the World Wide Web is a kind of digital library of Alexandria, which, if used well, gives us an insight into a lot of interesting things,” says the Teacher of the Year, who often gives his students surprising and exciting tasks.

“To give you an example, I figured out a homework imagining that aliens would take all the hens off the Earth, and if we wanted to eat scrambled eggs, we had to domesticate the pheasants, under the slogan “You’re a biologist in 2050”. Or, as an undercover agent, develop a biomechanical fighter aircraft called “buteo buteo” (buzzard). Oftentimes even family members got involved into the game, and they really enjoyed it. It’s hard to get in the mood for economic geography, but when the task was to operate a bio hamburger restaurant, everyone was excited. To do this, they had to come up with a convincing business plan. Quite astonishing, very detailed plans were elaborated, starting with how the raw materials are procured; how food can be delivered economically by bike or electric car; or what happens to used materials such as oil.”

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