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Showing Teachers They Matter

global teacher prize

I love being an educator. The years I spent working hands-on in a classroom were some of the best of my life, and they taught me so many invaluable lessons that I would never have received otherwise. I learned that children have the ability to change us in ways we never expected. I met students, parents, and fellow teachers who are willing to give every ounce of their effort to others, all just to have a small impact on their community. Above all else, I discovered that showing someone their worth can make all the difference in the world.

I am so honored to be a judge for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. This year’s finalists truly exemplify the best in our industry, and they show a true commitment to giving each and every student a great education. The Varkey Foundation seeks, “ to celebrate the best teachers — those who inspire their students and community around them.” And I can say without a doubt that the 2016 finalists meet that test and so much more.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TEACHERS MATTER. This has always been true, but somehow in today’s world of the 24 hour news cycle, full of new and overwhelming challenges facing our world each and every day, the long-term impact of each and every teacher on the next generation of students seems even more important. Teachers are so many things to so many students: they are mentors, guidance counselors, friends, confidants, safety nets, and more.

By choosing one special educator to win the one million dollar Global Teacher Prize, I hope we’re doing our small part to empower even more teachers to step up and lead. I can’t wait to hear all of the finalists’ stories, and to bestow the “Nobel Prize of Education” on a deserving educator.