x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE teachers feel the love as Instagram campaign celebrates their work

An Instagram campaign has been celebrating the nation's teachers.

Richard Zulueta, activity coordinator at The Philippine School in Dubai using Instagram as a teacher appreciation campaign encouraging students to express their gratitude is launched. Pawan Singh / The National
Richard Zulueta, activity coordinator at The Philippine School in Dubai using Instagram as a teacher appreciation campaign encouraging students to express their gratitude is launched. Pawan Singh / The National

DUBAI // An Instagram campaign has been celebrating the work of the nation’s teachers.

Students from across the country have uploaded footage to the video and photo-sharing site outlining their appreciation of their teachers.

The move is part of a week-long initiative by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

“It’s important to highlight the role teachers play and raise their status in society, not only in Dubai but worldwide,” said Hind Al Mualla, KHDA’s chief of engagement.

“Teachers perform a critical role in society and we want to make sure we do all we can to let existing teachers know they are appreciated and to persuade young people to enter the teaching profession.”

The campaign involved students uploading 15-second videos to Instagram using the @KHDADubai handle and the #iAppreciate hashtag.

In the videos, students extolled their teachers’ virtues. “This could be a past or present teacher, or even more than one teacher,” Ms Al Mualla said.

“We wanted people to take a bit of time and think about the role that teachers have played in their lives and to share their thoughts with the community.

“We also want teachers to view these videos and know how much their work is appreciated.”

And teachers everywhere felt the love.

“My students definitely appreciate my work,” said Richard Zulueta, an activity coordinator at the Philippine School Dubai, which is under the umbrella of the KHDA.

“We touch their lives, not just in academics but also in how they can apply our teachings in their daily lives, and how we can help them in becoming a better person.”

He said he had hoped the campaign’s deadline – which concluded today – could have been extended to allow more students to participate.

“Not all children know how to use Instagram,” Mr Zulueta said. “But it’s good to use social media in that way as it allows more exposure. It’s a really good project.”

Marion Sinclair, the principal at Horizons School in Dubai, said the campaign was a good way to recognise teachers’ hard work. “When you consider what an effect teachers can make in children’s lives, it’s a lovely way to celebrate and say thank you,” she said.

“Children become more aware of the effects of teachers well after they spend time with them and when they reflect and see the impact the teacher had on them later in life, that’s when they really appreciate it.

“But it’s still lovely for teachers to be appreciated, everyone likes to feel valued and feel like they made a difference in someone’s life.”

cmalek@thenational.ae