Teacher and bookseller shortlisted for top education award

Summary

The German teacher and bookshop owner was nominated for the Global Teacher Prize by his colleagues in Zaventem

A role model for pupils

The owner of a popular bookshop in Tervuren has made the longlist of 50 teachers up for the 2019 Global Teacher Prize. German-born Christoph Schiebold owns Treasure Trove and teaches at the International Montessori Hof Kleinenberg school in Sint-Stevens-Woluwe.

The 42-year-old, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 20, was nominated for the international prize by his colleagues. If he wins the top prize, worth $1 million, Schiebold (pictured) says he will “create a project that will help children to learn to read and write and focus on schools that do not have not enough funds to afford school supplies”.

He would also like to create a website and a network that allows schools and teachers all over the world to register for free educational material and share their experience to create a wide community.

Schiebold, who uses a wheelchair, believes his condition makes him a role model for his pupils. “It helps them see that life really is what you make of it… you can change yourself, rebuild your identity and accept often brutal realities,” he says.

The award by the London-based charitable Varkey Foundation is presented each year to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession, and is known as the Nobel Prize for teaching. Last year, IT specialist Koen Timmers from Hasselt was among the top 10 teachers recognised by the foundation, having made the top 50 in 2017.

Popular with the international community, Treasure Trove in Tervuren is an independent bookshop selling English-language books for all ages.