2021 Feb 2
Nilu Anandappa, a subject and class teacher at NICE international school, Negombo has garnered a double achievement as ‘Asia’s Outstanding Teacher of The Year 2020/2021’ and is also the recipient of the Global Excellence Award. The Asia Awards, powered by RULA Awards are given to those individuals who deserve special recognition for their commitment towards excellence in various aspects of their profession.
This award gives credence to Nilu’s inspiring and heart-warming journey towards becoming a schoolteacher. Her interest in teaching sparked at the meagre age of thirteen. Whilst walking with a friend one day, she encountered a teacher struggling to form a disciplined line with her students. It was at that moment that Nilu came to realise that the act of ‘teaching’ is no simple feat. “It’s not an easy task to mould a little child into the correct path with a helping hand and proper guidance,” said Nilu. The responsibility for any teacher is immense and poses a great deal of pressure, irrespective of the subject matter.
Upon completing her academic education, she joined SGTTI (St. George International Teacher Training Institute). She has achieved the AMI, MMI Advanced Diploma, the Level 3 IVQ Advanced Diploma in Training Skills as well as the Advanced Diploma in Child Psychology. Nilu has also completed an Advanced Diploma in the London Examinations, graded examinations at Trinity College, a Higher Diploma in Human Resource Management, and a Higher Diploma in Organised Behaviour.
Alongside these certifications, Nilu began working at two international schools. Her main goals were to encourage higher-order thinking amongst students to increase their overall performance, to root herself as an experienced teacher in an environment that promoted career growth and to keep up with cutting-edge teaching technologies.
“I think patience, empathy, self-improvement, adaptability, stress-management and communication are my recognised skills” said Nilu when talking about her strong suits. Currently a class teacher and a subject teacher at NICE international school, she teaches Maths, English, Science, Geography, History and spearheads the Mental Maths Club as an afterschool activity. The school has become a second home for her and a safe haven for both foreign and local kids alike.
At the time Nilu applied for the Asia Awards 2020, she often asked herself, ‘Will I be able to handle it?”. She was thrust into the tedious process of undergoing presentations, demonstrations, and online interviews with participants from over 50 countries until finally all her patience and hard work paid off. The award came as a delightful surprise, “it was announced on my birthday that I had won Asia’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year award with a royal honour”.
When talking about what future plans are in the works, Nilu expressed her hopes to materialise her dream of building a school for children with special needs. The label of being a teacher comes with its own set of stigmas and is often regarded as an undervalued profession. Every child’s capacity to learn and grasp concepts vary, and it is the job of the teacher to seek out these underlying capabilities and unleash them to their fullest potential. Nilu finds that this sense of gratification often outweighs the monetary aspects of being a teacher.
“True understanding is a catalyst for action”, said Nilu, a fitting statement that demonstrates the importance of having a great, qualified teacher, one that she has undoubtedly embodied.