PALESTINIAN TEACHER HANAN AL HROUB WINS US$1 MILLION GLOBAL TEACHER PRIZE 2016
Announcement made by His Holiness Pope Francis
BiographyHanan grew up in the Palestinian refugee camp, Bethlehem, where she was regularly exposed to acts of violence. She went into primary education after her children were left deeply traumatised by a shooting incident they witnessed on their way home from school. Her experiences in meetings and consultations to discuss her children’s behaviour, development and academic performance in the years that followed led Hanan to try to help others who, having grown up in similar circumstances, require special handling at school.
With so many troubled children in the region, Palestinian classrooms can be tense environments. Hanan embraces the slogan ‘No to Violence’ and uses a specialist approach she developed herself, detailed in her book, ‘We Play and Learn’. She focuses on developing trusting, respectful, honest and affectionate relationships with her students and emphasises the importance of literacy. She encourages her students to work together, pays close attention to individual needs and rewards positive behaviour. Her approach has led to a decline in violent behaviour in schools where this is usually a frequent occurrence; she has inspired her colleagues to review the way they teach, their classroom management strategies and the sanctions they use.
I have always said, when a people love their children more than they hate their enemy, they shall have peace. Of course this was said in one way or another by many before me. We often may not have all the answers in life, but teaching children to love, to smile, to be non violent, this is indeed a noble cause. More so because when one is within a deep and difficult conflict, the easy road is always to hate and teach hate.
One must also realize than to go against the popular thinking, and leaderships, who are often infested with hate, one who does such good deeds, well is not always an easy thing to do! I have always believed in embracing goodness, and every now and then you see or hear of people, and you know, you just know, they are the angels, the good ones. They often cross barriers, of religions and cultures and race. If we all thought for the children, then, I can say this. Instead of being right, we would be doing the right thing, two completely different ways of thinking.
Hi there, the blog has been running for almost a year, and as you can see I try to keep up a few posts a month. More about poetry and fellow poets, but also about current events, social issues as well as art and music. I look forward to any suggestions from readers and fellow poets!