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Meeting with winners and finalists of Russia Teacher of the Year contest

October 5, 2021, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

The President met with the prize-winners and finalists of the national competition, Russia Teacher of the Year 2021.

As many as 85 teachers representing all Russian regions competed in the federal round, which started on September 25 in Rostov-on-Don. Fifteen contestants who scored the most points in the round were declared finalists, and five of them prize-winners.

The winner was determined by a final round that took place in Moscow the day before and involved a news conference, Question for the Teacher of the Year. Yekaterina Kostyleva, a physics teacher at Gymnasium No. 16 in Tyumen, won the national title.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.

Today, all of us, the entire country, celebrate a good holiday, Teacher's Day. I wish all the best to you, to all Russian teachers on this wonderful day. It is always filled with joyful, positive emotions and kind words, the smiles of your pupils, their parents, your colleagues, and sincere feelings of gratitude for your noble work, for your effort, for what you are doing for the country, for its future – everything you do, undoubtedly, directly affects its future, and this contribution cannot be overestimated.

Along with passing on knowledge, you shape your pupils’ worldview and their value system, which is extremely important. You literally establish a link between generations, you encourage children to think, awaken their interest in Russian history, in our great culture. You help them to understand the complexities of the modern world, to understand themselves and to figure out what they have set their hearts on, what their abilities and talents are.

All of this is extremely important for every child, for every teenager, and even more so for high school students who are choosing their path in life. Our children’s future is Russia’s future. It will be up to them – today's children and adolescents – to build, to develop, to drive their country forward, and the role of a teacher in training competent and responsible Russian scientists, politicians, Russian citizens is truly enormous and invaluable.

In schools, one generation succeeds another, requiring teachers to acquire new knowledge, master new methods and grow professionally, including by learning to use digital technology for a more enriching educational experience. The promise technology brings us is real, and we will probably discuss this, albeit briefly, during today’s meeting. All this helps ensure that the learning process is in tune with what today’s schoolchildren aspire to.

This is what pupils ask whenever I meet them, even if it does not happen very often. By the way, they tend to suggest interesting solutions for, say, history lessons or other disciplines, and you have probably seen this as well. Speaking of history, digital technology offers us extensive opportunities for re-enacting historical events or immersing ourselves in past eras. We had quite a detailed discussion on this topic during the open lesson on September 1.

I am certain that the multimedia park Russia – My History, where you are now gathered, as far as I know, will inspire you to come up with new ideas.

However, we all understand that no matter how advanced and cutting-edge the technology used in the learning process, it can never replace direct, face-to-face communication. After all, we are all humans, not machines or robots. A teacher’s personality, emotions, wisdom, warmth, attention and power of conviction have a tremendous bearing on the pupils’ intellectual and moral development, as we have seen once again when schools had to switch to remote learning.

To highlight the importance of the teaching profession for our society, 2023, when we will be marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Ushinsky, the founding father of Russian pedagogy, will be the year of teachers and mentors. This will be the Year of the Teacher. Preparations will begin soon, and I am asking you, winners and finalists of the main national teaching excellence contest, to contribute to these preparations and share your insights and ideas with your colleagues from the Education Ministry.

I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you on reaching such a high professional level as today. The contest lasted for a whole year, and you managed to score success, become the best teacher in your region, reach the finals, and demonstrate your pedagogical talent at the federal level.

Your victory in the contest is also an excellent example for your students. It shows how to display one’s abilities, not to be afraid to compete and how to become a leader. Schoolchildren and young people in general have good opportunities to stand out and make a career in art, science or sports. It is great that they can look up to people like you and boldly conquer new peaks.

I know that all participants in the Teacher of the Year contest are brilliant specialists, outstanding, interesting people whom the whole country should know. In fact, you keep saying yourselves that we must raise the prestige of teaching, the prestige of teachers. Therefore, we have already made a decision: starting next year, contests will take place in a new format, with broad media coverage to keep the public focus on the best representatives of the profession and to enable the best teachers to set a benchmark for the entire national teaching community.

However, true professional recognition for all teachers is the success of their students, the education of people who are looking for and finding their path in life. They are confidently walking along this path, helping and doing good for their families and friends, society and homeland. I wish you such teaching achievements. I am sure you will reach them.

Happy holiday to you once again.

Friends, if you have any questions, proposals or comments, I would be happy to listen to them. Go ahead, please.


October 5, 2021, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region