Inspiring teacher and internet sensation Eddie Woo is in the running to add another award to his many.
Weeks after receiving a national Local Hero Award on Australia Day, the head maths teacher at Cherrybrook Technology High School in Sydney has been named as one of 10 finalists for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.
Mr Woo first started posting videos online in 2012 for one of his students who was sick with cancer and missing many classes. Others of his students wanted to watch the videos online so he started sharing them widely through his YouTube channel, Wootube, and website, misterwootube.com.
Awarded by the Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children globally, the Global Teacher Prize is a US$1 million (AU$1.26 million) award presented to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.
The foundation’s website states Mr Woo is an enthusiastic maths teacher, well known for his video channel which has 182,000 subscribers worldwide.
“On discovering that teachers in training found his videos an invaluable window into a real classroom, he created a separate channel where teachers can share their expertise,” his citation reads.
Mr Woo’s Maths Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program in his school also sees Year 11 students mentoring struggling Year 7 students to help them to rebuild confidence, develop understanding and improve skill in mathematics, the site says. The program has produced measurable improvements in the Year 7 students’ numeracy, and has also encouraged their mentors to pursue careers in education.
Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Woo said it was a joy to represent and embody the wonderful work done by teachers every day across the planet.
“Thank you to the Varkey Foundation for this amazing recognition of education’s transformative power!,” he wrote.