Location: Horishni Plavni, Poltava region
School: Specialized comprehensive school of I-III degrees No. 5 of the Horishni Plavni City Council of Poltava region with in-depth study of subjects of natural-mathematical cycle named after L. I. Buhaievska
Subject: Geography, Law
Superpower: Debunks children’s stereotypes about what it means to be a teacher. With his students, Mr. Portyanyi discusses computer games like “World of Tanks” with his students and debates about the hottest TV-premiers. In return, his thankful pupils win All-Ukrainian Olympiads and score the maximum of 200 on the External Evaluation Tests.
21st Century Teacher: Who are they in a nutshell?
Thirsty for new knowledge and skills. Unlike his former classmates, who are now only interested in football, Mr. Portyanyi continues to improve himself as a person in every way. During his career, he mastered law on his own, became a coach in hiking and learned about modern ICT.
What skills do Alpha generation students need? Critical thinking, the ability to express their own opinions and learn throughout life. Mr. Portyanyi believes that the modern education system must be oriented in the future to educate competitive adults. For example, his graduates are building hydroelectric power plants in Africa and receiving presidential scholarships for winning in the Minor Academy of Sciences of Ukraine competitions.
Professional dream: Better education and working conditions for young teachers. Mr. Portyanyi is convinced that graduates of pedagogical universities are not ready to work at school: they lack training and support from administrations and methodological services. According to the finalist, the problem is not only at the state level but also at the local level. Namely, in working conditions on the ground. Thus, Mr. Portyanyi’s dream is to become a force for systemic change.
Source of inspiration: Students who persevere towards their goal. Students of Mr. Portyanyi once confidently decided to write a paper on geology for the Minor Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, although he saw his future is economic cybernetics. Despite his teacher telling him not to waste his time on something he would not need for his career, the student managed to win the competition and was awarded with a presidential scholarship. This taught the finalist to listen to himself and to dream big.