Awarded annually by the Varkey Foundation, the Global Prize Teacher is given to a teacher who has contributed exceptionally to the profession. This year, Maggie MacDonnell was selected from among 20,000 candidates and stood out for her remarkable work in the Inuit village of Salluit, in the northern Quebec region of Canada.
Upon her arrival at Salluit, Maggie was very soon confronted with the harsh reality of indigenous youth: the high suicide rate, addiction problems, academic failure, delinquency, etc. With project-based education, she put into place a series of very concrete programmes by relying upon the existing resources within the community. The objective? Support students in acquiring and/or developing the essential skills and abilities (self-esteem, autonomy, critical thinking, etc.) for their psychological, social and physical wellbeing.
The teacher put into place numerous projects such as managing a community kitchen, training in suicide prevention, sports and DIY. Several of Maggie’s students gained self-confidence and were able to go to university, participate in international sports competitions and become ambassadors of their community. Maggie MacDonnel is member of a union which is affiliated to Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), a fellow member of the Education and Solidarity Network.