Casula High School teacher Ken Silburn finalist for Global Teacher Prize

Casula High School teacher Ken Silburn says there is no place else he would rather be.

Casula High School teacher Ken Silburn says there is no place else he would rather be.

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There is no place like home and for one of the worlds recently-declared best teachers – home is Casula High School.

Casula High School head science teacher Ken Silburn was declared one of the world’s top 10 best teachers in this year’s Global Teacher Prize.

He was also the only Australian teacher to have made it to the top 50 out of more than 20,000 nominations.

The top prize, which has been called “the Nobel Prize of teaching”, was awarded to Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell during the Global Education and Skills Conference in Dubai.

Ken Silburn and his wife Jan met former Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the event in Dubai.

Ken Silburn and his wife Jan met former Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the event in Dubai.

“Nominations can be made by fellow teachers, parents or the community. Any one can nominate you and you can also nominate yourself,” Mr Silburn said.

“There is no notification as to who nominated me... This is all top secret.

“[At first] I did not think much of it and then out of the blue I received an email to ask for information about my teaching experience. Then I received another email saying that I was in the top 50.”

The prize seeks to find the world’s most exceptional teachers who have an outstanding contribution to their profession and the impact they have on their students and the communities around them.

“I think I hit the mark on teaching in a global context,” Mr Silburn said.

“I have been doing some volunteer work with schools in India, teacher and student workshops.  

“Also I organise a trip each year for students to go to the US for the Space Academy Program.”

Ken Silburn demonstrating an air rocket for children in India.

Ken Silburn demonstrating an air rocket for children in India.

Mr Silburn said in order to make a real difference in the lives of young people today, he’d rather be nowhere other than Casula High School.

“Casula High is an excellent school. Our students come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds,” he said.

“I have been approached over the years to move to the private school system and numerous job offers for overseas.  

“However I feel that schools like Casula and the Public school system is where a teacher can really make a difference.”

Ken Silburn with the other 2017 Global Teacher Prize top 10 finalists. Picture: The Varkey Foundation.

Ken Silburn with the other 2017 Global Teacher Prize top 10 finalists. Picture: The Varkey Foundation.

Mr Silburn is encouraging students interested in science to attend his US Space Academy Program in the September school holidays. 

Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons said she has been following Mr Silburn’s successes for many years.

“Casula High School and our local community are extremely lucky to have a teacher as dedicated to education and developing his students as Ken Silburn,” she said.​ “We couldn’t be more proud of Ken and the work he continues to do for our students.”

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