Dr. Michael Baldwin, a 1981 Briar Cliff graduate, was recently selected as one of 50 finalists worldwide for the prestigious $1 million Global Teacher Prize.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Dr. Michael Baldwin, a 1981 Briar Cliff graduate, was recently selected as one of 50 finalists worldwide for the prestigious $1 million Global Teacher Prize. He was chosen from nearly 5,000 nominations from 127 countries including the United States, Italy, Kenya, India, Malaysia and China.
The prize, one of the largest of its kind, is open to school teachers across the world. Applicants are judged on how they inspire their students, how much they contribute to the community and how much they encourage others to become teachers.
“As a graduate of Briar Cliff, I realize it is not so much what I do, but how the people I work with are changed through my actions.”
— Michael Baldwin ('81), Global Teacher Award finalist
Dr. Baldwin grew up in Sioux City; he attended Bryant Elementary, North junior high and North senior high before pursing his undergraduate degree in biology from Briar Cliff.
“Attending Briar Cliff showed me that it is not always my own accomplishments that are most meaningful,” said Dr. Baldwin. “What motivates me are the achievements that have been realized by my students. As a graduate of Briar Cliff, I realize it is not so much what I do, but how the people I work with are changed through my actions.”
Baldwin went on to earn a Master of Secondary Education from Stephen F. Austin State University and an Education Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Houston. Currently, Dr. Baldwin is a science teacher at the Dalian American International School in Dalian, China, where he works with students to create a healthier and more sustainable environment.
He believes that an important part of teaching is helping students develop their natural leadership and collaboration skills. Students in his class have organized community beach cleanups, recycling projects, Earth Day celebrations, as well as developed community outreach presentations on water conservation and environmental stewardship.
“There are so many great teachers including the staff at the school where I work," Baldwin said. “Teaching is really a community effort where every one of us including the students themselves contribute to their success. Much of my effort as a teacher is facilitated by great administrators and fellow teachers who have shared their enthusiasm and great ideas.”
The $1 million award winner of the Global Teacher Prize was Nancie Atwell, founder of the Center for Teaching and Learning, based in Edgecomb, Maine. Atwell received the award at the Global Education and Skills Forum on March 16 in Dubai. She was chosen by the prominent Global Teacher Prize Academy, which is composed of head-teachers, educational experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors and scientists from around the world.