Hello educators, teaching staff, school principals and shapers of our future!
The Big Owl and the Little Owl. This ancient symbol of wisdom! In Winnie the Pooh by Alan Alexander Milne, the Owl was the wisest animal in the forest. Perhaps not always sympathetic. Maybe not always responsive. But these are qualities that other forest dwellers have. I understand why we give out the Big Owl and Little Owl awards, rather than, for example, the Little Piglet award for enthusiasm. Let us stick to the owl prizes, but let us bear in mind that these are not only clever owls, but also courageous, empathetic, responsive and enthusiastic ones.
I think that every adult, when talking and thinking about education today, cannot help but think back to his or her school years. We usually remember best those who helped us to believe in ourselves at times when we were feeling down. We remember those who helped us to see a story in a wide range of facts. We also remember those to whom we would like to send a birthday greeting every year. Today, let us highlight and congratulate those teachers who certainly deserve such greetings.
There are excellent teachers all over Latvia and in different subjects. This year's best teachers come from the capital, smaller towns and rural areas.
Marina Pilace, a physics teacher at Daugavpils State Gymnasium, manages the research work so that it is not just another thing for the student to do. Under the guidance of this physics teacher, students not only get excited, but also have a very good understanding of what they are doing, why they are doing it and how they could do it better. These are students who, at the end of their work, are already considered experts.
Ilona Popova, the biology and chemistry teacher at Riga Secondary School No 10, has an amazing ability to find suitable tasks for every student. And in just the right way, so that those who don't understand anything start to understand something and want to learn more. And so that those who are well versed in chemistry and biology become excellent.
Great teachers are not just in the field of natural sciences. Inta Romanovska, a history and social studies teacher at Sigulda State Gymnasium, helps you see the patterns behind the facts and figures. She also works with teachers. She actively participates in the development of methodological materials. Well, yes! Who else but you! Who else knows best what methods are needed in a modern school! There are many gaps in the Skola2030 roadmap that need to be addressed, and one of them is the lack of methodological materials. I am glad that there are teachers among us who see this problem as an opportunity.
Līga Slica, a home economics teacher at the primary school in Jaunsilava, invites children and young people to look for and participate in other training and workshops. She believes that everyone can find and develop what they love. Because every child wants to act and create. It is just a matter of finding the right passion.
Ilze Mazkalne, piano teacher at Alfreds Kalniņš Cēsis Music High School, is an icon already known to a whole generation. Because of her, music in Latvia sounds different. Through sheet music and piano keys, she helps children and teachers to find the best ways to help their students.
When new, large, important buildings are built, they tend to bury a capsule with what is important at the moment. With what makes up our Latvia. Your words, dear teachers, should be in such a capsule! When people look at our society decades from now and wonder why things are the way they are, they simply need to look at your knowledge and enthusiasm today. And then they will understand why things are the way they are. And I believe it will be good, my friends!
I believe that sometimes you too are overwhelmed by pessimism, disbelief in your own abilities and a typical Latvian "What can I do". Next time it happens, take a look at this award. And then - most importantly - look in the mirror! Because there, in front of you, will be a strong, wise teacher with her heart in the right place. A teacher whose importance in the eyes of her students will not fade with the years, but a teacher whose words, once spoken, will only become more meaningful with each passing moment.
Thank you for your work, and thank you for your mission in life - to be a role model and an inspiration to us all! Thank you!