50 of the Best Teachers Join Forces
All 50 Global Teacher Prize 2015 finalists joined a virtual conference with Fernando M. Reimers, Professor of International Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Ross Hall, Director of Education Strategy at Ashoka! This was the first time all 50 Teacher Prize finalists gathered together virtually. The Teacher Prize has partnered with the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Ashoka to co-create a vision to scale the incredible impact that these teachers are making to classrooms all around the world. This powerful project hopes to create a movement towards education change making and support like never before.
— Varkey Foundation (@VarkeyFdn) July 25, 2015
The finalists discussed many key thoughts with each other during the conference. Here are 3 important points from them:
1. Teachers Change Communities!
The Teacher Prize and its partners are mobilizing the voices of teachers, students, communities and global leaders who understand the importance of teachers. The collaboration of all of these voices is vital to increasing teacher respect and access to great education. As Mark Reid said, "Schools are central to our communities and yet our profession tends to stay in the classroom." Ronald Ddungu explained, "Looking at the needs of communities and developing strategies to support these in our schools is one of the greatest things to do." The prize is amplifying the work of teachers in communities around the world!
2. Teachers Need to be Supported!
"EVERYONE OF US NEEDS TO NOMINATE A TEACHER!" wrote Stephen Ritz. It is important for teachers to nominate and support each other and share their successes with the world! One great example of this was from Daniele Manni of Italy, who said that through his MasterProf program he will nominate 40 Italian teachers.
3. Students Are Change Makers!
Teachers see the importance in student ownership and in their ability to be positive change makers. Jelmer Evers said, "Systems, schools, classrooms need to be profoundly democratic to allow everyone to be a changemaker. That requires a complete rethink of how we work. " Jeff Charbonneau added, "Empowering students, teachers, and edu leaders to effect change is also vital!" Nancie Atwell, winner of the first $1 million award, shared her experiences being the 2015 Teacher Prize Winner and said the "absolute zenith was being the grand marshal of the 4th of July Parade in Bath, Maine". She enthusiastically explained what the parade was like and how the prize has encouraged people in Maine to shout passionately that #TeachersMatter! Listen to her tell the story below:
Hear how the award has impacted Nancie's life, her school, her students and her community:
#TeachersMattter @TeacherPrize Thank you all for your voices in the Varkey Teachers Virtual Conference-so glad to see and hear you globally! — Naomi Volain (@NaomiVolain) July 25, 2015
Leadership Summit to Scale Impact
Thanks to the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Ashoka, the Teacher Prize is also hosting the Varkey Teacher Leadership Summit in Dubai for two days prior to the Global Education & Skills Forum — on the 10th and 11th of March, 2016. Because of these new partnerships the finalists will be equipped with the change making tools they need to scale their impact beyond their own classrooms! We are excited about this new partnership and the powerful change that these teachers will have around the world. Do you know a great teacher who is making an impact in your life? Nominate them for the Teacher Prize so their work can be amplified and shared around the world too!