Top Teacher

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15 March 2016

Every teacher loves to hear their students say it: You are the best teacher in the world.

The Year 1-2 students at St Michael’s School in Ashburton say it so often that their parents decided to prove it and nominated
Christian Williams for a global teaching award. 

Although he didn’t win it, Mr Williams came extremely close, officially named as one of the 40 best educators on the planet. Christian Williams and a St Michael's ICT class. Picture: Herald Sun

‘I was so blown away to make it so far, especially because I was nominated by the parents,’ he said. 

‘I try to make sure my kids' dreams come true. I hated school myself and don't want my kids to have that experience.’  

Over 8000 applicants from 148 countries were nominated for what has been described as the ‘Nobel Prize’ of teaching and Williams recognition is even more impressive when you consider the St Michael’s ICT leader is just 28 years-old. 

‘You’ve only got one chance so you may as well make the most of it,’ he says. 

The Christian Williams nomination form included several example of going beyond regulation call of teaching including: Creating an iPhone app and cooking show to teach children about healthy eating and exercise; ringing Google’s inventions department and American NBA basketball stars when he can’t answer a student question; conducting chess tournaments before school and YOGA classes at recess. 

St Michael’s principal Marisa Matthys describes Mr Williams as ‘an exceptional person and much loved teacher’. 

‘Christian has a strong sense of social justice and is determined to find new ways of working which will inspire and motivate children to want to learn,’ she said.

Christian is a wonderful advocate for Catholic Education and has a strong vision for improving education and engagement for all students. He works diligently, providing innovative ideas and strategies for motivating students and their love for learning.

The Varkey Foundation’s 2015 Global Teacher Prize was presented in Dubai and, as he told his students and fellow staff members via email, Mr Williams will return with many tales to tell.

‘I had no idea how prestigious this award is, and the recognition it receives around the world. There are over 200 journalists covering the award ceremony tonight.

‘It has been such an honour to be celebrated as one of the top 50 teachers in the world and I wouldn't be here if not the amazing support from all of you at St Michael's.’

‘We are VIP guests of the King and have been given the best rooms and food in Dubai! Our room is almost as big as our house! So many stories to share, I can't wait to tell you all about it.’