It’s official — the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2016 is now open for nominations and applications! We are so excited to discover and celebrate incredible teachers from around the world in the year ahead. #TeachersMatter!
It seems like it was only yesterday that we announced Nancie Atwell, an English teacher in Maine, USA, as the first winner of the $1 million prize from a momentous ceremony in Dubai as she and nine finalists stood on stage. So many impactful things have come from the Global Teacher Prize. Here are six ways that the Prize has honoured and been honoured by teachers since last year's nominations and applications!
1. The First Teacher Prize Winner, Nancie Atwell, shared her love of teaching to the world!
Nancie was interviewed by several publications and supported her fellow finalists with a message of respect for her students and for teaching! Some of her debuts were on CNN, the Huffington Post, and MSNBC.
As Bill Clinton, Varkey Foundation Honourary Chair and former President of the US, said it best, one of the great things about the Teacher Prize is how it reawakens "the world’s appreciation of the importance of teachers." While Teacher Prize highlighted the stories of such great teachers, their communities celebrated the profession and those teachers for the heroes they really are! Did you miss seeing the hero's welcome home for finalist Phalla Neang? Watch it here!
3. The Teacher Prize Finalists Forge Strong Partnerships!
Some of them met in person, some of them over Twitter, and many of them have created projects together! For example, finalists Nancy Barile and Mareike Hachemer created a global connection on Facebook and started sending each other classroom advice! And did you watch the transnational #concertin2countries that finalists Elisa Guerra and Melissa Morris organized for their music students in Mexico and the US? Watch it here!
4. Teachers Developed Their Own Organizations with Renewed Energy!
Teacher Prize finalists were able to promote and continue developing the projects that they are passionate about. Top 10 finalist Stephen Ritz for example was able to promote the Green Bronx Machine and was even visited in the Bronx, New York by the Knowledge of Human Development Authority from Dubai, UAE! Have you heard how he is teaching his students about green sustainability in his classroom? Watch his inspiring TED talk!
5. Finalists Were Given Other Awards!
Not all of the finalists received the Teacher Prize award, but many of them were awarded in other ways in the wake of the prize! Phalla Neang of Cambodia won the People's Vote #TeacherPrize for the video about her pathbreaking work changing the future for blind students in her country. And finalists Yasmin Noorul Amin and Madenjit Singh from Malaysia were just awarded teaching awards by their country. Yasmin was interviewed on TV this week:
6. Finalists Were Regarded Among Dignitaries!
Royalty and politicians from around the globe extended invitations to meet and honour Teacher Prize finalists! These top teachers have met many dignitaries and world leaders, from former US President Bill Clinton and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda to H.E. Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimy and even the Pope! Read about how some of our finalists were acknowledged by Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. And watch this message from Bill Gates to the Teacher Prize finalists.
Just as former world leaders are calling on governments around the world to protect and value teachers, and play their part in restoring the respect that teachers so richly deserve, we hope you will join us as we launch this second year of the Global Teacher Prize! Show just how much #TeachersMatter by nominating the best teacher you know, or apply if you are a teacher!