Ana Maria Stelman, a primary school teacher from La Plata, was chosen as one of the 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2021, the award organized by the Varkey Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO, which was nominated by more than 8 thousand applicants from 121 countries. The winner will receive a million dollars.
“I already saw myself as a winner being between 50 so imagine that now my smile does not enter the face “, said the teacher to Télam. Stelman works in primary school No. 7 in the Hipódromo de La Plata neighborhood, where children in vulnerable situations attend and their educational projects are linked to the community.
The teacher also uses digital tools adapted to children with different abilities, and directs workshops and courses on environmental education and astronomy. He takes his students to participate in geography and science fairs, and develop educational programs for the community.
For Stelman, as for all teachers, the pandemic implied a new challenge when it came to teaching. In its course, only one student had a computer And he had to resort to his creativity to send tasks on WhatsApp, taking into account that children had to share their cell phones with their families and connectivity was not always the best.
“My strategy is through the empathy of knowing the boys, of knowing what their tastes are because not all strategies work for all children”said the finalist teacher.
Stelman, who has been a teacher since 1984, said that by being nominated she feels that “I am representing all” teachers. “The work that all the teachers in the country do is very important and I feel that I am representing them too, although I don’t know them.”
The teacher said that she sent her application for the award after the school director and cook convinced her to present herself. “I got to the award because they told me ‘Ana María, note that you do strange things,” he said in a television interview. I like teaching, it is what I always wanted to be and I enjoy it ”.
The winner of the seventh edition of the Global Teacher Prize It will be known next November 10 through a virtual ceremony that will take place at the Unesco headquarters in Paris. The award recognizes “the outstanding contribution to the profession of the most outstanding teacher of the year and to underline the importance of their role in society.”