Family & Education

Ort's teacher of the year

Singapore-based Maire Clapham proved to be a tower of strength during lockdown


An Australian primary teacher at the Jewish school in Singapore has been named World Ort’s teacher of the year.

Maire Clapham was recognised for her work in overseeing the switch to online learning at the Sir Manasseh Meyer International School (SMMIS) and supporting colleagues emotionally and professionally during the pandemic.

Dan Green, chief executive of World Ort said in a digital ceremony on Tuesday, “Maire has shown her complete dedication as a teacher, colleague, friend and leader. She took on additional responsibilities, working tirelessly to lead the primary school, planning and preparing lessons throughout the night, while concentrating on wellbeing and mental health.”

The international education network, which has its headquarters in London, serves over 200,000 young children in more than 30 countries.

Ms Clapham said, “The last couple of years has been such a challenging time for education, but there have been so many opportunities hidden in there as well. Not only to work together to find ways to keep the learning journey moving forward for our students, but also to find ways to connect on deeper levels, to use tools and technologies in creative ways.”

SMMIS principal Elaine Robinson, former head of Jewish ethos at London’s JCoSS, said: “With extended months of lockdown and restrictions, Maire remained positive and optimistic and shared her joy and sparkly nature with all those around her.

“Maire kept staff buoyant and positive throughout. Maire does so much quietly and behind the scenes without drawing attention to herself.”

Mr Green said the past year had posed “an almost unprecedented challenge to educators globally. When our schools were forced to close due to national lockdowns, hundreds of thousands of ORT students were faced with uncertainty about their education.

“Thanks to the dedication of their teachers, we were able to adapt to remote learning and sustain and develop great educational experiences for our students.”

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