I think all of us can recall a special teacher who inspired us, pushed us and made us grow. For me it was my Spanish teacher who planted in me a seed that has led to a lifelong love affair with the cultures, peoples and countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. For others it may be the teacher who mentored them and made them see that they had the power to transform their lives through education.
If you want to recognize that special teacher in your life, or simply celebrate all those wonderful teachers out there who work to change the world one child at a time, now is your chance!
Join us on May 6 here in DC when former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Moreno of the Inter-American Development Bank, and Colombian business leader Alejandro Santo Domingo reveal the name of this year’s Best Early Childhood Educator in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Perhaps no teacher is more important than your early childhood teacher. The basis for human intelligence, socio-emotional behavior and capacity to learn is formed during our early years. The ALAS-IDB award is a way of recognizing the outstanding efforts of so many early childhood educators to improve the lives of the youngest of citizens, often under difficult circumstances.
Awards are also presented in three other categories to recognize the best publication in early childhood, the best early childhood development center, and the best innovation in early childhood development. The finalists were selected among some 700 nominations for the quality of their teaching, community involvement, innovations in early childhood development, contribution to early childhood education, and ability to inspire young children of all backgrounds.
However, the challenge of improving the quality of early childhood education is not merely an issue of Latin America and the Caribbean. As IDB’s President Moreno will remind us during his address: it’s a challenge for the America’s as whole. Whether in rural Nicaragua or the U. S. capital, affordable quality early childhood education is difficult to find for too many families.
In addition to learning about Moreno’s early childhood education vision, the event will also include interactive TED type talks and conversations among prominent academics and business leaders as well as educators and ministers of education from the Americas and beyond. The Finnish Minister of Education Krista Kiuru will explain how Finland’s broad investment in early childhood is the foundation for their entire education system. Randa Grob-Zakhary, CEO of the LEGO Foundation will engage us in an interactive exercise to show what learning through play really is.
Harvard’s Catherine Snow and Herbert Ginsburg from Colombia Teacher’s College’s will have a conversation about how childcare is not enough. To truly give young kids a chance to become the very best they can be, early childhood education cannot be limited to the promotion of their socio-emotional skills. We need quality early childhood education to also invest in their language, literacy and math development.
Investing in early education teachers is investing the future. The inventors of the cure for cancer, ocean-driven hydro-power and smarter apps may be a little girl in rural Nicaragua or a boy in housing project in Toronto. But, without really fabulous well trained and supported teachers they can’t ever raise to their full potential.
Everyone is welcome to join us in the conversation! Visit events.iadb.org/calendar/eventDetail.aspx?lang=en&id=4413 for more information and to register.