The importance of teachers was highlighted in Dame Helen Mirren’s acceptance speech when she won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award in February. “My journey to this place, right here, right now, began with a great teacher, Alice Welding, who died two weeks ago, at the age of 102,” she said. In a heartfelt tribute on the podium to her one-time English teacher, Dame Mirren said: “She [Ms Welding] revealed to me the power of literature, and she recognised my need to live in that world of imagination and world of poetry. She alone was the person who encouraged me to become an actor.” Highlighting the role teachers play in the lives of children they nurture, she asked all of those present at the annual awards ceremony to raise their hands if they also attributed their success to the inspiration of a teacher. Many of them did. “How many of you remember a great teacher who inspired you and opened the gate to the path that led you here?” Dame Helen asked the audience, which included many other well-known actors and producers. That’s a lot of teachers, she noted as hands went up, before saying: “So let’s, right now, thank those teachers.”Video of Mirren’s acceptance speech:
BAFTA is an independent charity that supports, develops, and promotes the art forms of the moving image – film, television and games.
EI: Quality teachers, pillar of quality societies
“It is a true Unite for Quality Education message Dame Helen Mirren delivered at the BAFTA awards!” EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen highlighted. “We commend Dame Helen Mirren and other celebrities for helping to raise awareness among people about the crucial contribution quality teachers make to healthy, just and sustainable societies.”