Global Teacher Prize: We Play and Learn


Global Teacher Prize Winner 2016: Hanan Al Hroub
photo via globalteacherprize.org

Colin Lowther and Anne Muir tell about a winner of the Global Teacher Prize. Hanan Al-Hroub shows how teaching can encourage peace.

Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

Voice 2  

And I’m Anne Muir. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

In March 2016, many famous people gathered in Dubai. Celebrities and politicians waited to see who would win an important award. Then, Pope Francis made the announcement: the winner of the Global Teacher Prize was Hanan Al-Hroub from Palestine. Al-Hroub stood and held up her prize – a golden trophy. She cheered along with the crowd. She told them:

Voice 3  

“I am proud to be a Palestinian female teacher standing on this stage. I accept this as a win for all teachers in general and Palestinian teachers in particular. Each day the job of the teacher becomes more important, as the world questions what future we want for our children.”

Voice 2  

Like many teachers, Hanan Al-Hroub spends her life caring for her students. But Al-Hroub teaches in the West Bank. This area has experienced decades of conflict. Her students live with unrest and violence all around them. Many of them live in refugee camps. But Al-Hroub discovered a special way to teach these children in Palestine. Today’s Spotlight is on Al-Hroub and how she encourages peace and education in one of the most violent areas in the world.

Voice 3  

“If children who suffer from violence do not get the help and support they need, they will be lost.”

Voice 1  

Hanan Al-Hroub said these words in a discussion with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. She knows this from her own experience. Al-Hroub grew up in a refugee camp in Palestine. She married and had five children. When they were all in school, she went back to school herself. She was a student at Al Quds University. Then in the year 2000 Al-Hroub and her family had a frightening experience. Soldiers shot at her husband Omar and two of their children. Her husband was injured and the children were very afraid. Al-Hroub told the Varkey Foundation how this changed their lives:

Voice 3  

“My children saw their father injured. This shocked them and also shocked me. It completely changed my children’s behaviours, characters, and how well they learned in school. I felt that I was alone in getting my children through this. No teachers had helped us get my children back to normal. So we started inventing games at home. We invited the neighbours’ children. My daughters began to grow stronger and they have become more comfortable with people. Their school work improved and so did their self-belief. After the incident I changed my school major to Elementary education.”

Voice 2  

After this, Al-Hroub decided to devote her life to teaching. She saw that the young children in her country needed help. She told the Guardian newspaper:

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“Children are deeply affected by their environment. The violence that some Palestinian children do is a reaction to the violence around them. I want to provide a safe environment for learning. I cannot influence the wider environment but I can influence the child. This is my way of thinking.”

Voice 1  

Al-Hroub used this way of thinking to create a new way of teaching. She wrote about it in a book called ‘We Play and Learn.’ She develops loving and respectful relationships with her students. She uses fun and playful activities to encourage the children to learn. Sometimes she even wears funny clothes. Al-Hroub creates an environment where children feel safe and loved. She says that life outside of the classroom can be violent and frightening. But in school she can provide peace and security.

Voice 2  

The school has seen many good changes from the way Al-Hroub teaches. Children behave better. And they even learn better in school. Karam is one of Al-Hroub’s students. He had trouble learning in school. He did not have any friends. He would not play with the other students and was often violent towards them. Then Hanan Al-Hroub became Karam’s teacher. His mother, Lana Al Saka talked to the Varkey Foundation. She described how this changed her son’s life:

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“Karam learned to sing! He still enjoys singing. He has friends now! When I visited him at school I noticed that he had become popular with the other students. I was very happy. He never got along with his classmates. Mrs Hanan truly saved my son.”

Voice 1  

The love Al-Hroub shows her students has helped many of them in the same way as Karam. She gently teaches them her idea of “No to Violence.” This positive message is why the Varkey Foundation recognized her work. The Varkey Foundation works to improve education for children around the world. Once a year, they give one teacher the Global Teacher Prize. This includes an award trophy and 1 million US dollars in prize money. Maha Ahmed Al-Rafa’e teaches with Al-Hroub. She believes that Al-Hroub deserves the award. In a video by the Varkey Foundation, she says:

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“In Mrs. Hanan I see a model for teachers. I have learned to challenge myself. And I always look for better ways to deal with children from Mrs. Hanan.”

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The teachers in Al-Hroub’s school have already learned from her. But Al-Hroub is spending her prize money to write and produce a programme of study in her way of teaching. Then, teachers and students all over the world can use her ideas. Not every place has the same situation as Palestine. But Al-Hroub believes that children everywhere can benefit from peace and education. She said:

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“We just want to live in peace. We want children to enjoy their childhoods in peace. I tell all the teachers, whether they are Palestinian or around the world: our job is caring. The goals of teaching are good and true. We must teach our children that our only weapon is knowledge and education.”

Voice 1  

Hanan Al-Hroub believes that teachers are in a special position to share with children. Teaching is very difficult work. But Al-Hroub gains strength from the love of her students. She told the Guardian newspaper:

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“I will carry the trophy to my children. My students are the true winners of this prize. My ideas and courage came from these children.”

Voice 2  

The writer of this programme was Rena Dam. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this programme and voiced by Spotlight. This programme is called ‘Global Teacher Prize: We Play and Learn.’

Voice 1  

You can listen to this programme again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. Tell us what you think about today’s programme. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. And find us on Facebook - just search for Spotlight Radio.

Voice 2  

You can also get our programmes delivered directly to your Android or Apple device through our free official ‘Spotlight English’ app. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

Question:

Who is your favorite teacher and why? What did this teacher teach you?

Comments


Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on November 10, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: answer to the questions above
Date: Thursday 10, November 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Anne Muir, Rena Dam, Colin Lowther, and Michio Ozaki:

At first, I want to thank you to bring us readers and learners of English more one great article, thanks!

My favorite teacher is Miss Silvia because she taught to me and my classmates our mother language Portuguese in a better way. So, I understood everything from her method of teaching. It happened when I was living in my Pernambuco countryside during my childhood and teenage. So, in this age I was studyindg at elementary school and high school. Now, I can speak and write everything in my mother language without problems or mistakes.
Besides, here in São Paulo city next to my house there is a great spanish school where I studied Spanish. So, at this school in which its name is Wizard Idioms.  I studied with a great teacher who is called Pablo. He was my Spanish teacher and he was an excellente teacher. I understood everything from him to speak and to write.
That excellent Spanish teacher is from Uruguary. When Mister Pablo taught Spanish to me and my classmates at Wizard school, he cannot speak no words in my mother language portuguese. So, that became easier for us to learn his language very well.
Therefore, I am thankful for all my teachers. Thanks!

The best regards,
Severino Ramos
Brazil

Avatar Spotlight
Hangcoi
said on October 05, 2017

Thank you spotlight for giving us the meaning programme.
I really admire and respect Mrs Hana Al- Hroub. She is resilient and strong woman. she was not defeated by violence. The violence made her more stronger and beauty. Hope for more and more children was protected and have a peace life. Hope for her country will be peaceful place.