Marie-Helene has wanted to be a teacher from a young age. She teaches high school students and adults (online, through webinars, in colloquiums or at conferences, and trainee teachers), and has constantly striven to innovate in a way that identifies and develops her students’ talents. Her chief success has been in pioneering the ‘flipped classroom’ in her school, whereby students – rather than receiving information in class and then completing homework based on this – watch instructional material at home and then use the class for debate, reflection, discussion and imagination. To this approach she has added many others such as Skype learning, role-playing and creative writing.
Marie-Helene won a national prize for her environment project in 2013 (at UNESCO headquarters, Paris) and an International Innovation Prize at the Barcelona Global Summit in 2014, organized by Microsoft. She has been a Microsoft Expert Educator since that time. If awarded the prize she would use the money in three ways:
• She would help disadvantaged communities in her city with a combination of direct help, educational opportunities and mentors;
• She would find ways to reach out to the government to advise them in school-related decisions;
• She would like to promote environmental causes, and in particular, the paperless classroom.