The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million award given to outstanding teachers like Nancie Atwell who has developed a successful literacy based teaching method. Reading is the focus of her school and her program targets children with a variety of learning disabilities.
Nancie Atwell: the first winner of the Global Teacher Prize, the ‘Nobel Prize’ for teaching
A teacher’s influence on a student’s life can be decisive for his or her future. As an adult, a student may remember a teacher who inspired him or her in a particular subject, allowed him or her to grow as an individual, introduced him or her to a new world and at times, set the course of his or her life.
In the course of your education, you may encounter an exceptional teachers, those who distinguish themselves by stepping outside the established mold and putting their heart into their work.
Nancie Atwell is one of these rare examples; her students read an average of 40 books a year. In March of last year, Atwell became the first winner of the Global Teacher Prize, a million-dollar award that is already considered the Nobel Prize for teaching.
Its purpose is to highlight the importance of a profession that is often under-recognized and underpaid.
The Importance of a Teacher’s Influence on a Student’s Life: The Inspiring Story of Global Teacher Prize Winner, Nancie Atwell
During the emotional awards ceremony in Dubai, former U.S. President Bill Clinton paid tribute to the “importance of teaching” in his speech.
Clinton emphasized that it is underestimated that every dedicated teacher is smart enough to have chosen another career in life and most likely made more money doing it.
The former president also confessed that he is the second U.S. president to come from a small state and that this would never have been possible without the help of his teachers. “They taught me how to synthesize, memorize, empathize, think and dream,” Clinton said.
The Innovative Teaching Method of Nancie Atwell: Empowering Students Through Reading and Writing
In Atwell’s case, the success of her method is based on “allowing children to choose books to read and then write well.” Her passion and ability to connect with and guide her students are also key.
As a young girl however, Atwell had no intention of becoming a teacher. It was when she found herself in a classroom with her students that she discovered her true calling. To pass on her love of reading to them, she developed an educational system that has become a reference for generations of Anglo Saxon teachers.
Revolutionizing Reading Education: How Nancie Atwell’s Program is Changing the Way Teachers Teach
According to the American teacher the most important thing is that, through reading, her students become “smarter, happier, fairer and more compassionate people”. At her school, which is open to teachers, “time is devoted to reading” during school hours.
Atwell emphasizes that her program is not aimed exclusively at a privileged population as it includes children with learning disabilities, dyslexia or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).