Global Teacher Prize

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How can we raise the profile of educators?

The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession. In March 2018, a teacher from London, U.K. won the award.

I had the pleasure of attending the GESF conference in Dubai on 16th – 19th March 2018, culminating in a meeting with Andria Zafirakou before and after she was announced as the winner for the Global Teacher Prize 2018. This is wonderful recognition, not just for the teaching profession all over the world, but for the U.K. education system and in particular, despite squeezes on the Arts curriculum by the English Government, for art, design and textiles teachers across England. I could not be prouder …

Meet Andria Zafirakou

“As a member of the school’s senior leadership team, Andria has transformed her school’s approach to reach often isolated young people so that they can engage in school life and perform to the best of their abilities.  She quickly realised that a one-size-fits-all curriculum would not resonate with all her students so she set about redesigning it from top to bottom, alongside fellow teachers, in order to make it relevant to her pupils’ lives.” (Alperton Community School)

This video explains the incredible work Andria is doing with colleagues at Alperton Community School in North West London.

You can watch Andria’s winning speech here.

The Global Teacher Prize

In 2013, the Varkey Foundation commissioned Populus, the leading research and strategy consultancy, to gather in-depth opinions from 21 countries to explore attitudes about the teaching profession. The survey covered areas such as teachers’ salaries, students’ attitudes towards educators and how participants rated their own education systems. The results, published as the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Status Index, aims to change the way the world looks at teachers.

The prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them.

The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

5 thoughts on “Global Teacher Prize

  • 21st March 2018 at 7:57 am
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    In Vietnam they have a national teacher day when kids and parents send cards and presents to their teachers. Would that ever happen here? I don’t think so.
    It’s brilliant for Andria, notice how neither Teresa May or DFE could spit out the words ‘Art’ teacher? I’m hoping she can also go back to being what she was, a brilliant classroom teacher. In some ways, this accolade could also become a burden and create a barrier to being able to go back to normality. But, on a global stage, to hear someone speak out for art education is empowering.
    Why was this event in Dubai by the way? Why in a country where women are not even given the same rights as men? Should we be supporting glitzy and ostentatious events in places like that?

    Reply
  • 21st March 2018 at 12:14 pm
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    Although I think this is very well-deserved and Andria is certainly pure class, I am saddened that to be recognised as a world-class teacher she has to give up her evenings and weekends. What message is this sending to newcomers to the profession? Is it endemic of a system where young people are being failed and the only way to help is through professionals working voluntarily? I would rather see teachers being recognised for their daily contribution to enabling the education of young people, shaping futures and supporting families during paid for working hours.

    Reply
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