The Global Teacher Prize – My Journey

September 22, 2021

In this Q&A article with Nam Thanh Ngo, we learn about The Global Teacher Prize and why it is important to him and how it has influenced his view of education

The Global Teacher Prize

What was it like being involved in the Global Teacher Prize?

In my opinion, the standard for any teacher wishing to be involved in the Global Teacher Prize is to teach from the heart. Even if you are working in a fully-fledged environment, if you lack the love of your students, your material will become meaningless. It is the love of children that will do wonders. Once the teaching work comes from love, you can easily awaken the student’s passion for learning. Since then, the quality of teaching has been improved thanks to the efforts of both teachers and learners. In contact with the teachers of this award, I realize that all of them are influential students, colleagues, community members and government officials etc. Each person who is a teacher is an important factor in changing the world. I feel so lucky to be one of those wonderful people.

What was the best thing about being involved in the competition?

The most exciting part of this award is not the one million dollars that the prize brings but the opportunity to be part of the best teacher community in the world. I have been listening to their stories from the hardest schools to ultra-modern places around the globe. I was thrilled to meet friends who had previously had the opportunity to work together online. We all feel like we are one family because we share our passion for education. Their sharing, their experiences have inspired me so much for a very special career and we all devoted our passion to it. My passion for teaching is aroused more than ever by these emotional stories. I also could share ‘my voice’ to the world as a part of the Varkey Teacher Ambassador program. The four days at the forum were fast and every moment was a moment that made us proud to be teachers. I totally agree with statement from Maggie MacDonnell (the winner of Global Teacher Prize 2017) during her session at the forum: “A million dollars cannot buy the moments we’ve spent at the Global Teacher Prize.”

How has it changed your outlook on your profession?

I didn’t think that I would learn so many amazing things when participating in the global education and skills forum. I had the opportunity to listen to sessions on a variety of topics from well-known global speakers. The forum gave me a clearer view of the future of education. Since then, I have had many plans for what I need to do for my students in the years to come. As an ambassador of the program, I will connect with other teachers to work together, develop programs that will motivate educators and ignite their passion for learning and teaching. With what I’ve experienced with this award, I totally believe that education is the key to changing the world. However, in that world, every child is an important factor. Therefore, it is the duty of the teacher to provide the child with the best education possible. So, every teacher is a good teacher, and we must remember to never leave any child behind.

Group - Global Teacher Meeting

What will you focus your future teaching practice on?

Never have people in the world been able to connect with each other as easily as they can today. So, in the present and in the future, I always want my students to be global citizens so that they can adapt to the world’s development in different cultures. At present, many schools focus only on teaching knowledge in textbooks that sometimes is outdated, formal or alien to the reality of life around students. Personally, I will help students apply the knowledge that they have learned to solve problems in their lives, helping each student learn how to spend their time exploring the world around them. In addition to the formation of 21st century skills, such as teamwork, using information technology and critical thinking; education for children and human values ​​are also of interest to me. Today, I am working with children on projects related to caring, self-esteem and the development goals of the United Nations.

I firmly believe that these projects will help them reach the humanitarian values ​​that I desire.

What should the future of education focus on / or what should it look like?

I really love the theme of the forum this year: How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond?  As you know, the world is growing every hour, every minute and this is changing the roots of our everyday lives. Who can say in advance what will happen? How will life around us change? As a teacher, I see that future education needs to integrate with the 4.0 revolution. Facing the rapid changes in science and technology, teaching methods must change, every cadre, teachers and students must determine that learning is a lifelong goal, learning anytime, anywhere. Geographic distance, space and time have been blurred. Teaching is no longer delivered in the traditional way with chalk, board, a pen and some paper.

One thing I would like to pay more attention to is shootings in schools. When I heard that children have witnessed the deaths of their friends in the classroom, I could not hold my tears. In addition, education for children with disabilities is also a concern for me after attending the Global Education and Skill Forum.

Give all children a chance to study!

You can learn more about The Global Teacher Prize here:


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