A humble teacher from a remote Kenyan village just won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize.

A math and science teacher who teaches in a small, impoverished village in Kenya has been awarded the Global Teacher Prize.

The ten finalists onstage at the Global Teacher Prize ceremony in Dubai represented the best of the best in humanity's ever-advancing quest for knowledge. Ten teachers from around the world beat out tens of thousands of other nominees for the prestigious honor, which has been given by the Varkey Foundation for the past five years. One winner takes home the ultimate $1 million prize.

Hugh Jackman, who hosted this year's Global Teacher Prize ceremony, announced the winner as Peter Tabichi, a humble Franciscan friar who teaches science and math in a remote village in Kenya and gives away 80% of his earnings. His students, despite facing poverty and hunger, have bested some of the country's top schools in science competitions. Tabichi says that the prize money will make a huge difference in his students' lives.


"This prize does not recognize me but recognizes this great continent's young people," Tabichi said. "I am only here because of what my students have achieved."

"This prize gives them a chance," he added. "It tells the world that they can do anything."

Peter Tabichi says teaching is in his blood, and is how he helps people and the world.

Tabichi's father was a teacher, as are his uncles and cousins. Tabichi started his teaching career in a top private school that had the best facilities and equipment, but felt that the remote communities should have access to the same quality of education. Now he teaches at the Keriko Secondary School in Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya—an area where drought and famine are common and where most of the students come from impoverished families.

"I said, 'Let me stretch and extend this same love to the surrounding communities,'" he says. "That's what made me come to this school."

Keriko has a student teacher ratio of 58 to 1, and Tabichi says food insecurity makes teaching a challenge. Students often haven't eaten when they arrive at school, which makes it difficult for them to learn. But Tabichi is determined to keep them engaged with hands-on learning, creative use of technology, and lots of love.

Teachers like Tabichi should be recognized—and rewarded—for the difference they make in our world.

Tabichi goes above and beyond the call of duty, tutoring students outside of school time and donating his own money to help struggling students in addition to his work in the classroom. He also started a Peace Club to unite the different tribes who attend the school.

Though certainly outstanding, Tabichi is one of countless teachers around the globe who dedicate their lives to educating the next generation and ensuring our continued advancement. Such educators often work behind the scenes, but imagine what the world would be like without them.

It's wonderful to see educators recognized and rewarded, especially with a prize as generous as The Global Teacher Prize. Congratulations to Mr. Tabichi—and his students and school—for this well-deserved honor.

See more about this amazing teacher here:

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

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On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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