Maggie MacDonnell: “My goal is to give students the tools they need to be masters of their own destiny”

Maggie MacDonnell: “My goal is to give students the tools they need to be masters of their own destiny”

Teaching is a noble profession that shapes the future of people, countries and the entire world. Teachers carry on their shoulders responsibility for young people’s literacy, outlook and competencies. Maggie MacDonnell is the winner of the Global Teacher Prize. At the ‘City for Education’ Forum she will talk about her work and share professional secrets.


Maggie MacDonnell has long work hours — she doesn’t stop working with students even when the school doors get closed. Maggie MacDonnell, together with her students, set up a fitness centre, decorating the place and installing the equipment without external help. This project helps people of the community fight excessive weight to prevent diabetes, wide-spread among Inuit population. With the people living in isolation in an extremely harsh climate, the morale in their Arctic settlement was all but destroyed, but sport helped them to fight stress. Maggie MacDonnell’s another endeavour was to collect donations from the ‘mainland’ and open a ‘weekend store’ — as a result, her students have mastered the store management and other business skills, and the community has got access to affordable goods.


Maggie MacDonnell believes that the goal is to help every child become a strong personality. Young people need to understand the significance of their actions and be able to contribute to the development of their community. Maggie MacDonnell calls herself a motivator who helps students understand their powers. Many times, she witnessed that support and trust can work wonders. Her methods help transform young people from trouble-makers into active members of the community who would make a positive impact on other people. Maggie MacDonnell set up a life skill program, tackling the means to motivate young people to learn, by involving them into multiple exciting projects. Her students later use the new skills acquired through the projects, to resolve everyday issues, and get reward and recognition for doing so. Nowadays, the indigenous community highly appreciate their new skills, even if at the beginning there was little loyalty towards school studies.


Maggie MacDonnell, a modest teacher from the Canadian village of Salluit, won the international Global Teacher Prize in 2017. The prize is unofficially described as the Nobel Prize for teachers. Maggie MacDonnell’ prize of USD 1 million was awarded for developing teaching programs and contributing to the transformation of the lives of schoolchildren and the entire community that suffers from economic and social deprivation and a legacy of psychological issues.

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