THE BLOG
10/01/2014 03:53 pm ET Updated Dec 01, 2014

Celebrating Teachers With the Global Teacher Prize

To me, and most people, there is not a nobler or more important calling in the world than teaching. There is not a single person on this planet who doesn't acknowledge or understand the impact that an educator can have upon his or her students. Yet, as a society, we continue to undervalue and under pay educators around the world... until now.

The Global Teacher Prize from the Varkey GEMS Foundation will honor one remarkable educator worldwide annually, with an award and a one million dollar cash prize. The winner and 10 finalists will also have the opportunity to attend the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai in March 2015, when the winner is announced. Like the Nobel Prize, which awards recipients in various fields with a medal and cash prize of $1.2 million, the Global Teacher Prize was created to give the same deserving recognition to those who play such vital part of our society. In every country, educators are revered for their selfless commitment to youth, and are truly investing in the future by teaching in the present. Teachers are so much more than just teachers to their students. Teachers inspire, nurture and empower on a daily basis.

As a high school history teacher, I know first hand that it can be tough being a student, particularly a teenager. Teachers are a critical support system to care about students and consider the needs of individual students. Teaching is about live inspiration -- TVs have certainly not replaced us!

Shaping the lives of young people is a high stakes role, because students need actual caring support. They come to school for more than an education -- also for what they become out of the class. So we show compassion even to troublemakers and overcome time constraints to make a difference in their lives. I believe, and I know you'll join me, that teachers need to be trusted and respected as creative and intellectual professionals who manage challenging situations every day and who are continuously developing our skills.

Every one of us can name an incredible educator, who saw something in us that we couldn't see, and pushed us to reach our true potential. I became an educator because I had such incredible teachers, and I plan on being the same to every student who enters my classroom. So, if you know an amazing educator, take just one moment and nominate them or apply as a teacher yourself on the Global Teacher Prize site (applications close on World Teachers' Day on October 5th), and let's recognize all the amazing educators as they deserve to be. If teachers were paid by the hour (as many are suggesting we should), we'd all be millionaires already.