There are bad teachers, there are good teachers, and then there are the best teachers ever! Teachers throughout the world deserve to be recognized for their works in the profession. More importantly, they deserve to be appreciated and praised. One teacher who has gained recent recognition was Hanan Al-Hroub from Palestine, who is the only Middle Eastern to make it to the top 10 nominees of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.
The Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, that is equivalent of a Nobel Prize, is a $1 million award to be given to an outstanding teacher who has made an exceptional contribution to their profession. Among the 50 nominees, in addition to Hanan Al-Hroub, were 2 impressive women from the Middle East, Fidaa Zaatar from Palestine and Nisrin Shafik Al Bakaeen from Jordan who both made great contributions to the teaching force.
Hanan grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem. After her children witnessed a violent act of war committed in front of them, she took notice that her traumatized children were having difficulty getting through the experience. This dedicated woman realized that the majority of Palestinian children have been exposed to such acts, so she took it upon herself to eradicate violence from the lives of children.
Her journey started with her teaching slogans ‘No to Violence‘ and the specialist approach she explains in her book, ‘We Play and Learn‘ both helped the children feel better and safer in the classroom. She encourages her students to work with each other as a unit, pays close attention to their individual needs and rewards positive behavior.
Hanan’s teaching methods have led to a decrease in violence from children in schools and she has shared her methods in several places. Her main focus is peace as she says, “We just want peace; we want our children to enjoy their childhoods in peace.”
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