Corby teacher misses out in competition to find world’s best

Ray Chambers.
Ray Chambers.

A teacher from Corby fell at the final hurdle in a competition to find the world’s best.

Ray Chambers, a computer science teacher at Brooke Weston Academy, stood to win $1m after making the final 10 in the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.

He was the only UK teacher to make the final 10 and flew out to Dubai for the awards ceremony, but narrowly missed out on the big prize.

Mr Chambers said: “This has been an amazing experience and one that has really humbled me.

“I’d love to use this platform to promote teaching as we need more good teachers and it is such a fantastic job.

“Someone said commiserations to me, but no way!

“I have made so many friends from all across the world and learned so many new things.

“I have become really good friends with the winner Maggie since our time here and we’re going to try and get a project going between our communities.

“This has been an incredible time and I’m over the moon that I’ve had this experience.

“The hospitality of all of the team at The Varkey Foundation has been amazing and I will never forget it.”

Mr Chambers, who was nominated by an employee from Microsoft, entered teaching nine years ago by accident as the result of a last-minute computer science degree placement and found that he loved it.

At that time ICT teaching was fairly traditional, so Ray started developing new software for learning using Microsoft Kinect.

This developed into a blog, then a project with other teachers, and he was invited to Portugal to present it on a global scale.

His computer science YouTube education channel has had more than 250,000 views.

In 2013/14 won the Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator award.

In 2015 he received the UK national teaching award for innovative use of technology, and in the same year he won the YGC (Young Games Designer) mentor Bafta.

He has also recently featured on the BBC programme Click, along with students from Brooke Weston.

The overall winner of the competition was Canadian Maggie MacDonnell, who teaches at a school in a fly-in-only village in the Arctic.