A Jamaican teacher is one of 10 finalists in the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017.
Tracy-Ann Hall, who teaches at Jonathan Grant High School in Jamaica, was selected from 20,000 people who applied or were nominated from 179 countries. She is going up against finalists from Pakistan, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Kenya and China for the $1 million award.
The Global Teacher Prize is presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession. The Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world, says the prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognized and celebrated.
“It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers, not only on their students but on the communities around them,” it states on its website.
Hall went through her own school years with undiagnosed dyslexia and left school to train as an automotive technician. Training other mechanics gave her a lifelong love of teaching. She enrolled at the vocational teachers’ college in Jamaica and, after three years, graduated at the top of her class.
“In her first teaching role, she took a group of boys who had been written off educationally. Hall transformed their performance and ambitions. One went on to become head boy, others joined the school choir. She also started and oversaw a program for her class to feed street people, launch a junior automotive club and work on the school magazine,” Varkey Foundation stated.
“If she were to win the prize, she would buy resources for her school and the auto club she runs, as well as supporting various local families and children’s charities.”
The winner of the Global Teacher Prize will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on March 19.
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