Pooja Antony works as a primary school teacher and joins the Tir na n-Og Awards panel for the first time in 2021. She says she’s looking forward to being part of the annual contest celebrating books from Wales for children and young people.
Shwmae! My name is Pooja and I am a primary school teacher, and post-graduate student.
I grew up between Hong Kong and India, and moved to Cardiff to complete a degree in psychology. Since then, I have trained as a primary teacher, worked in multiple schools providing one-to-one support and have worked as a children’s support worker with Women’s Aid.
My earliest memories of books are heavily influenced by my own experiences in school – being read to and introduced to a plethora of diverse children’s books, bringing books home and making weekly trips to the local library with my mother, armed with a long list of titles and authors. I have always found comfort in reading, both as a child and as an adult.
As a teacher, books have not only been a way to connect with my students but have also provided a platform upon which to discuss, imagine and empathise with. I strongly believe that the value of children’s books and storytelling is priceless as it sparks imagination, drives curiosity and allows for children to engage with their communities.
As a Tir na n-Og panellist, I’m looking forward to delving into all the wonderful books that have been submitted and represent the best of Welsh literature for children and young people!