Australian teachers doing great things are being encouraged to apply for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, with a US $1million dollar award presented to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to education.
Now in its sixth year, the Global Teacher Prize is held annually and offers the largest prize of its kind in education. Applications for the Global Teacher Prize 2020 opened on 1 August 2019 and will close on Monday 14 October 2019.
Peter Tabichi (pictured above), who won the 2019 prize has encouraged “amazing” Australian teachers to apply for the 2020 prize so their stories can be shared and we can learn from the great work they do in preparing young people to meet the challenges and opportunities of a new decade.
A Maths and Physics teacher from Kenya, Mr Tabichi said, “During the Global Teacher Prize ceremony I met so many Australian teachers that are innovative in how they inspire and engage their pupils in lessons. They really have a passion for their job and deserve a spotlight thrown on the important work they do in shaping the future of Australia through the children they teach.
“In my village in Nakuru, students face tremendous challenges. Many are orphans who have grown up in poverty. Many more come to school with their bellies empty, their hand-to-mouth lives made all the harder by the ravages of drought and climate change. But with a good education, they at least have hope for the future and the tools to tackle their very real challenges.
Though he acknowledged that not all students face the same challenges his students experience, he said that each continent faces its own set of challenges. If the last decade has taught us anything, it is the size of the mountain we have to climb,” he said. “But 2020 can see the start of a better, brighter decade in which we can begin to overcome the many challenges people face around the world if we can provide a great education for all. That starts with great teachers growing the great minds the next generation needs. That is why I encourage amazing Australian teachers to apply for the Global Teacher Prize 2020.”
The prize is open to currently working teachers who teach children that are in compulsory schooling, or are between the ages of five and eighteen. It is open to teachers in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world.
If teachers are being nominated, the person nominating them will write a brief description online explaining why. The teacher being nominated will then be sent an email letting them know they’ve been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.
“We want to give Australian teachers a platform where they highlight key issues of importance to the world,” said Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Global Teacher Prize. “If they become 2020 finalists or one very special teacher even becomes the winner then we will look at new and exciting ways to tell their stories to every stakeholder in education – from pupils and parents to CEOs and Presidents. We need to give teachers a seat at the top table as they shape the future everyday through the children they teach.”
Many Australian teachers have made the finals or been shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize since it was first awarded in 2015. Yasodai Selvakumaran, a history and society and culture teacher at Rooty Hill High School, New South Wales, was a top 10 finalist for this year’s prize, while Peter Gurrier-Jones a special education teacher at The Hills School in Sydney made the top 50 shortlist. And Eddie Woo, a mathematics teacher from Cherrybrook Technology High School, Sydney, was a top 10 finalist for the 2018 prize.
Nominations and applications can be made by clicking here.