2015 Global Teacher Prize Top 50 Finalist Elisa Guerra from Mexico has been given the IDB-ALAS award for Best Educator in Latin America! We were excited to hear about her experience winning the award and to learn more about the great work that many teachers are doing in Latin America! When we asked Elisa to tell us more about her award she wrote:

“Thank you so much! Not only have you supported all of us since becoming Top 50 and then Varkey Teacher Ambassadors — you have also encouraged us and celebrated each new accomplishment. Being a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize has changed my life forever!”

The award ceremony was attended and supported by many education supporters from across all of Latin America. Grammy award winning singer Shakira’s organization Movimiento ALAS was a huge supporter of all of the nominees.

Felicitaciones @ElisaGuerraCruz https://t.co/EsFoLwz6Th

— Movimiento ALAS (@MovimientoALAS) November 11, 2015

Watch Shakira talk about the importance of the IDB-ALAS award!

Read these inspiring and beautiful words by Elisa about the award ceremony:

The Inter American Development Bank is located in a large and modern building in Washington, DC, very close to the White House. I arrived at 8.30 am on the morning of November 10th, 2015. A very exciting day awaited. Luis Alberto Moreno, IDB’s President, welcomed the audience to the event: All Children Count, Early Mathematics and Science education In Latin America and the Caribbean, and ALAS IDB Awards Ceremonies.

Tengo el orgullo de presentar a la ganadora de los #PremiosALASBID a la mejor docente: @ElisaGuerraCruz https://t.co/hhS2icFZnI — Luis Alberto Moreno (@MorenoBID) November 11, 2015

Over the following hours, we heard remarks by experts and leaders, all focusing on the importance of early childhood education, with an emphasis on mathematics and science.

I particularly enjoyed the session called “Sky’s the Limit: Girls in Math and Science” with keynotes by Diana Trujillo and Sandra Cauffman, “Latina” women who have reached scientific positions at NASA. Another great highlight was when Emiliana Vegas, Chief of the Education Division at IDB, who insisted on the importance of educators for quality early childhood education: “Teachers matter”, she stressed!

As the day came to a close, the ALAS-IDB awards for early childhood education were presented by Colombian singer and Grammy award winner Fonseca, followed by a message in video from singer Shakira, founder of Movimiento Alas.

Best educator: Elisa Guerra from Aguascalientes, Mexico #PremiosALASBID pic.twitter.com/SDNf0iQohQ

— Alison EG (@alaieg) November 10, 2015

Just like the Oscars, a short video of all nominees (four for each category) was presented. The first award to be announced was “Best Educator”. It was a strange and happy sensation to see myself and my school for a couple of minutes on a huge screen. It was also a chance to learn more about the work of my colleagues and fellow nominees: Daniel Ortiz, Liliana del Valle and Francy Arango.

When the video was over everything happened so fast. I remember the envelope being opened and the voice calling my name: “And the winner for best educator is … Elisa Guerra, from Aguascalientes, México!” I walked towards the stage, disoriented and ecstatic, amid applause and cheers. I felt like a sudden rock star!

In a blur, I was back on my seat, being hugged by my family and then listening to the rest of the winners being announced. Fundación Canguro (Kangaroo Foundation) from Colombia received the award for best innovation. Venezuelan Menena Cottin’s The Black Book of Colors was named best children’s book and Golondrinas Foundation, from Colombia, was recognized as best early education center. Later, we listened to a wonderful recital by a recycled instruments orchestra from Paraguay — the children played with string instruments made out of garbage! Suddenly, Fonseca joined the young players in an impromptu performance. The audience went wild! The evening closed with a lively cocktail gathering.

I am so grateful to be able to devote my life to a profession I love, and on top of that, of being recognized for it. I can only thank Movimiento ALAS, IDB and Shakira for this great initiative to empower educators across Latin America.

What a wonderful way to inspire and encourage teachers!

Watch the announcement of the winners here!

The post Our 2015 Finalist Elisa Guerra Named Best Educator In Latin America appeared first on The Global Teacher Prize.

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