Winning a prize is a big deal, but winning a global prize is a much bigger deal! Considered the “Nobel Prize” for educators, the Global Teacher Award started in 2014 and rewards the most impactful teacher in the world with a $1 million grant to use for education.
This year, Ranjitsinh Disale, an elementary school teacher in India, won the prize. He didn’t start with the intent to teach, reluctantly choosing teacher training after he was unable to attend his choice of engineering college. But he soon began to love teaching, and decided to turn around the dismal teaching conditions in a tiny village. His first challenge? Learning the local language and then translating the textbooks so his students could pass their grade level tests. Using games and movies, he continued to teach his school, especially the girls in the village, who were often discouraged from attending schools regularly.
But there are many great teachers in the world, and Disale felt that the finalists were all equally deserving of winning the award. This is why he split his reward among the finalists, saying, “If I share the prize money with the rest of the teachers, they’ll get a chance to continue their work … and we can reach out and lighten the lives of as many students as we can.”
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