Global Teacher Prize: How, why this teacher won $1 million in Dubai - Emirates24|7

Global Teacher Prize: How, why this teacher won $1 million in Dubai

The teacher from Southport, Maine, was awarded the prize by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; also jointly presenting the award was former President of the United States, Bill Clinton. (Supplied)

It was a night of celebration for teachers across the world as US national Nancie Atwell won the inaugural Global Teacher Prize, comprising a $1 million purse.

Atwell stated she plans to donate the prize money to her school to fund tuition assistance, purchase further books and renovate the grounds.

The teacher from Southport, Maine, was awarded the prize by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; also jointly presenting the award was former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Atwell was named winner during the two-day Global Education and Skills Forum, being held in The Atlantis Hotel in Dubai.

The American was one of 10 shortlisted finalists from around the world who were vying for this coveted prize.

Atwell has pioneered teaching literature as a reading-writing workshop – her students read an average of 40 books a year.

In 1990 she founded the Center for Teaching and Learning, a non-profit demonstration school in Maine that boasts a library in every room.

Speaking after her win, Atwell said: “In my country I’ve written many books for teachers about innovate ways to teach literacy.

“Children get to choose their own books and as readers get to develop their own topics.

“The idea is to make writing and reading real for children in the class, not with exercises or assignments but facts of communication and acts of pleasure.”

Quizzed about why her innovative system of teaching works and she explained: “Because when they are engaged, they read and write a lot and they excel at what they strive at.

“They leave our little school as writers, scientists, mathematicians because the work we ask them to do is real.”

Talking about the prize itself, Atwell stated she didn’t seek this prize but was nominated by a former student.

As the world’s best teacher, ask her what advice would she give to fellow peers and she said: “One of the things teachers need to do is when they don’t have access to resources, to design their own home grown professional development. To create study groups in schools.

“And to read and search books about teaching. Our profession has lost its roots in theory and research. I want teachers to understand, the rich history of facts that’s out there, and to continue to educate themselves.”

Spearheaded by Sunny Varkey, the Gems Foundation Global Teacher Prize was announced last year, drawing 5,000 teacher nominations from 127 countries.

“We need great teachers to grow great minds,” was the message put forward by Varkey, with the corresponding Global Education and Skills Forum drawing in support from Bill and Hilary Clinton, The Bill Gates Foundation, and other leaders around the globe.

Ahead of the announcement, Bill Clinton addressed the audience, saying: “I would have never been elected President of the United States without my teachers.”

President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame said: “I hope this prize becomes the inspiration for more teachers to step up and help our children.”

In a video message, Bill Gates stated: “The Gates Foundation believes in the power of teachers. Keeping teachers at the centre is key to next breakthrough.”

Mohammed attends 9th Forum of UAE Ambassadors and Heads of Missions Abroad



His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday afternoon, attended the 9th Forum of UAE Ambassadors and Heads of Missions Abroad, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs annually (MoFA), to exchange views on the UAE foreign policy, ways to strengthen relations with all countries and the role of missions abroad.
 
Sheikh Mohammed attended lectures at the forum, which focused on the issues of extremism and terrorism and ways to tackle and prevent them; as well as to immunise the UAE community against this scourge, which is alien to Emirati values and principles of the true Islamic religion that rejects all forms, motives and mechanisms of extremism and terrorism that make Islam a smokescreen for such ploys.
 
The Vice-President welcomed the idea of the forum and commended the efforts of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and all staff at the Ministry, for their rich contributions that serve the foreign policy and other issues in the best interest of the UAE in particular and humanity in general.
 
"I'm happy to attend this forum. The counter-terrorism efforts should first work through convincing extremists that they are on the wrong side and they should embrace our authentic Arab values and true Islamic teachings.

"Islam is totally separate from criminal acts committed by some people allegedly in its name."
 
Sheikh Mohammed urged UAE envoys abroad to convey the message of UAE leadership, government and people to the world governments and peoples that "the UAE is a peaceful and tolerant state characterised with co-existence. It cooperates with all peoples and cultures."
 
He instructed them to take care of the citizens, be they students or businesspersons or sick people who travel abroad for treatment or tourism.
 
The Vice-President was accompanied by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of the Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash, Lt. General Misbah bin Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the office of Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Mir Abdullah Al Raisi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director-General of the Department of Protocols and Hospitality in Dubai and a number of officials of the ministry.
 
Swears in two UAE envoys


Hamad Saeed Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon and Hamad Mohammed Humaid Al Junaibi, UAE Ambassador to Sudan, were sworn in as new Ambassadors of the UAE before His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, attended the event.

Sheikh Mohammed called upon the new Ambassadors to represent the deep-rooted noble Arab values and called on them to strive to serve the UAE's interests and national goals. Sheikh Mohammed also wished them good luck in their new missions.

Present at the swearing in were Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Lt. General Misbah bin Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice-President, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director-General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai, a number of ministers and key officials.

Receives credentials of 11 ambassadors to UAE



His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, received copies of the credentials of ambassadors of sisterly and friendly countries at Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of  Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Sheikh Mohammed received copies of credentials from the Ambassadors of China, the State of Palestine, the Delegation of the European Union, the United States of America, New Zealand, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Colombia, the Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Algeria and the Republic of Senegal.

They conveyed the regards from their presidents to the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, wishing more prosperity to the UAE led by its wise leadership.

The new ambassadors expressed their satisfaction to represent their countries in the UAE, citing the urban development, stability and co-existence being enjoyed by the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid welcomed the Arab and foreign ambassadors, adding that they would get all forms of assistance from the leadership, government and institutions to further boost the trade, investment and political relations between the UAE and their countries in a way that reflects on the welfare of all peoples.

He underlined that the UAE government and institutions are ready to share their development experience with the sisterly and friendly countries without conditions and discrimination.

Among others present were Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research 

The ceremony was also attended by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Juma Al Zaab, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, Lt. General Misbah bin Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice-President, Mohammed Mir Abdullah Al Raisi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director-General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai, ministers and a number of senior officials.

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