Global Teacher Prize

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Global Teacher Prize
CountryUnited Kingdom
Presented byVarkey Foundation
Reward(s)Prize money of 1 million USD
First awarded
  • 2015; 3 years ago (2015)

The Global Teacher Prize is an annual US $1 million award by the Varkey Foundation to a teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.[1][2][3] Nominations of teachers who meet specific criteria are open to the worldwide public, and teachers can also nominate themselves.[4] The judging is done by the Global Teacher Prize Academy, consisting of head teachers, education experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors, and scientists from around the world.[4][5]

The annual prize was launched at the second annual Global Education and Skills Forum in March 2014 and received over 5,000 nominations from 127 countries.[6][7][8]

The Global Teacher Prize, which has been referred to by journalists as the Nobel Prize for teaching,[2][9][10][11] highlights and celebrates the profession while giving greater recognition to the work of teachers all over the world[12][13] The head of the Varkey Foundation has asserted that, "We want to promote teachers as stars and to support the quality of education to highlight the enormous impact teachers have on our lives";[14] "Teaching needs to be the most important profession in the world and they've got to be given their due respect."[15]


Andria Zafirakou of the United Kingdom, winner of the Global Teacher Prize for 2018

The first annual Global Teacher Prize was awarded in March 2015 to Nancie Atwell, an innovative and pioneering English teacher and teacher trainer in rural Maine in the United States, who founded and runs a school where students read an average of 40 books a year, choose which books they read, and write prolifically.[9][10][16] Atwell has authored nine books on teaching, including one which has sold more than half a million copies.[16][17] She donated her $1 million prize to the upkeep, development, and scholarships of her school, the nonprofit Center for Teaching and Learning, which is also a demonstration school for developing and disseminating teaching methods.[10][16][18][19]

The 2016 prize was awarded to a Palestinian teacher, Hanan Al Hroub.[20]

The 2017 prize was awarded to an Inuit teacher, Maggie MacDonnell from Salluit, Quebec, Canada.[21]

The 2018 prize was awarded to Andria Zafirakou, an Arts and Textiles teacher in Brent, northwest London, England.[22][23][24][25]


  1. ^ "Applications open for world’s first one million dollar teacher prize" (press release). March 2014.
  2. ^ a b Shapiro, Jordan. "Now There's A Davos Of Education And A $1 Million 'Nobel Prize' For Teachers". Forbes. 22 March 2014.
  3. ^ Global Teacher Prize – About the Prize. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b Strauss, Valerie. "Can a $1 million global teacher competition (backed by Bill Clinton) boost the profession?". Washington Post. 30 August 2014.
  5. ^ Global Teacher Prize – Meet the Academy. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  6. ^ Quimby, Beth and Dennis Hoey. "First 'Nobel Prize for Teaching' goes to Mainer". Portland Press Herald. March 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "The (Million-Dollar) Value Of Great Teaching". NPR. 15 March 2015.
  8. ^ Press Trust of India."Three Indians Shortlisted for $1 Million Prize for Outstanding Teachers". NDTV. 8 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Nancie Atwell Of Maine Wins $1 Million Global Teaching Prize". NPR. 16 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Gambino, Lauren. com/education/2015/mar/23/worlds-best-teacher-nancie-atwell-maine-center-for-teaching-and-learning "The world's best teacher lives in rural Maine and doesn't care about test scores". The Guardian. 23 March 2015.
  11. ^ *"First 'Nobel Prize of teaching' winner gets $1 million". CNN. 17 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Teachers From India Urged to Apply for Global Teacher Prize 2016". The New Indian Express. 30 May 2015.
  13. ^ Varkey, Sunny. "Put education at the top of global agenda". TES. 6 March 2015.
  14. ^ Coughlan, Sean. "World's top teacher to win $1m prize in new competition". BBC News. 29 October 2013.
  15. ^ Coughlan, Sean. "The man behind the million-dollar teacher". BBC News. 5 May 2015.
  16. ^ a b c Associated Press. "Maine Teacher Wins $1 Million Global Teacher Prize in Dubai". New York Times. 15 March 2015.
  17. ^ Coughlan, Sean. "Global teacher prize winner to give away $1m". BBC News. 15 March 2015.
  18. ^ Marsh, Sarah. "US teacher wins $1m for developing reading and writing skills". The Guardian. 15 March 2015.
  19. ^ "10 Incredible Facts about Prize Winner Nancie Atwell". 19 March 2015.
  20. ^ Coughlan, Sean (14 March 2016). "Palestinian teacher wins global prize" – via
  21. ^ Foundation, Varkey (21 February 2017). "Maggie MacDonnell - Global Teacher Prize 2017 Winner" – via Vimeo.
  22. ^ "Andria Zafirakou from north London wins $1m 'world's best teacher' prize". The Guardian. 2018-03-18. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  23. ^ "Inspirational London teacher Andria Zafirakou wins $1m Global Teacher Prize". ITV News. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  24. ^ Coughlan, Sean (2018-03-18). "UK teacher wins global best teacher prize". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  25. ^ Aitkenhead, Decca (23 March 2018). "Best teacher in the world Andria Zafirakou: 'Build trust with your kids – then everything else can happen'". the Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2018.