UK Music Teacher Nominated for International Best Teacher Award

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. nominee / ˌnɑːməˈniː / (n) – someone who is chosen as a candidate to receive an award or recognition

    He is an outstanding writer, so he is one of the nominees for the school’s “Most Outstanding Journalist” award.

  2. talk / tɑːk / (n) – a discussion about what might happen to something

    There is talk that the school principal might resign next month.

  3. at the forefront (of something) / æt ðə foɚˌfrʌnt / (idiom) – leading in or being the most important in something

    The school received an award for being at the forefront of science education.

  4. ecstatic / ɛkˈstætɪk / (adj) – very happy

    Mark was ecstatic when he received an acceptance letter from his dream university.

  5. sweep under the rug / swiːp ʌndɚ ðə rʌg / (idiom) – to ignore something

    His art submissions were always swept under the rug because they lacked originality.


Read the text below.

A music teacher from Bradford, England, was nominated for an international award for teachers.

Out of over 10,000 nominees around the world, Feversham Primary Academy teacher Jimmy Rotheram [ROTH-er-uh m] is among the 50 teachers shortlisted for the Varkey Foundation’s “Global Teacher Prize.” This recognition was created to highlight the importance of teachers. The Varkey Foundation, a London-based charitable organization, annually awards the prize to exceptional teachers who had done something remarkable.

The winner will be announced in March 2019 at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. This person will receive a cash prize amounting to $1 million.

Rotheram’s nomination comes amid talk that England’s national education curriculum will no longer include music. Nevertheless, Rotheram decided to place music at the forefront of his school’s curriculum. He created a program in which he holds an hour of music assembly and teaches his students music at least thrice a week.

His teaching method follows the Kodály [koh-DAHY] approach, a Hungarian teaching style that uses singing and musical games to improve students’ writing, reading, and math skills, among others.

Rotheram’s music program has become a success. Through his method, he has greatly improved the quality of education in his school, which nearly failed the UK government’s education standards. Now, his school is among the top 10% of schools in England in terms of students’ progress in core subjects, such as reading, writing, and math.

In an interview, Rotheram said that he is ecstatic to be shortlisted. He is delighted that the importance of teaching music is finally being acknowledged as the subject is often swept under the rug.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, were Rotheram’s efforts enough to make him deserving of his “Global Teacher Prize” nomination? Why or why not?
• Would you like schools in your country to adopt Rotheram’s music program? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• How would you describe an outstanding teacher?
• Why is it important to recognize and award outstanding teachers?