We are not exaggerating when we say that Aspira has the best lecturers! Dejan Nemčić, professor of the course Tourism Geography at Aspira, has won the prestigious Global Teacher Award as the best professor of geography in the world. We are very proud of our colleague’s global success and happy that he is part of our team! On this occasion, we asked him a few questions about working with students, impressions about the award and the core values of the educational process.
Have you always known you wanted to be a part of the educational process or did that decision come spontaneously?
I knew from the fifth grade of elementary school that I was going to be a teacher, and love happened at first sight. It happened when I first saw the map of the world and its multitude of colors and I knew that I wanted to spend my life learning about the beauties of the world. I was lucky enough to know from a young age what I wanted to be in life.
How do you feel now that your impressions of winning the prestigious Global Teacher Award have cooled down?
At first, when I received the news that I was the winner of the award, I was not aware of anything. The media, after various bad news related to education, enthusiastically welcomed one positive piece of news which resulted in increased interest to the award and media engagement. Everyone wanted to know what this teacher from Zagreb has and what teaching methods he uses to become the winner of such a big award. It was only at the online award ceremony that I became fully aware of the global recognition and I am very happy even today.
How satisfied are you with the role of teachers in the education system today?
I think that over time we are becoming more aware of how much influence teachers have on the formation of young people and how their work can create love and interest in a particular area. This is one very good example that can encourage us to start appreciating our teachers more. I am grateful to have directed my life to this path.
Do you think there is a big difference in teaching in elementary school, high school and college?
Of course there is a difference in the curricula, but the core values we pass on are very similar – learning how to learn and preparing them for life are the ultimate tasks of every teacher regardless of the type of educational institution in which they works.
Which course do you teach at Aspira College?
I have a very grateful task because I teach a very interesting course – Tourism Geography at the International Management in Hotel and Tourism. The course combines geography and a very common branch – tourism. My goal is to teach my students how to cope in each country, introduce them to the culture, gastronomy, basic practical laws of each country we speak about and how to prepare them to visit this country.
How satisfied are you with Aspira College students?
I am satisfied! I have been teaching at Aspira for three years now and I can say that all this time I have been building my relationship with students on the basis of mutual respect. I respect them and look at them as people who will change Croatia for the better tomorrow. I respect their every opinion, and they return that love to me just as nicely, showing respect to me as a professor, even though I am very close to their age. I really wish them to have a successful and happy life and become fulfilled people after their graduation.
What fundamental values would you like to pass on to all students to follow them through life?
Definitely persistence, but also belief in yourself and your dreams. I think the combination of these two values can ensure each person is exactly what they want to be, even when it’s not easy and when it’s a path with a lot of obstacles and boundaries.