The best educators of Serbia are again representing our country at the Global Teacher Prize competition

The association "Živojin Mišić" announced the winners of the national competition that will fight for the title of the world's best teacher in 2021. These are the Best educators in Serbia, Vesela Mačkić and Mladen Šljivović.

This year, two Serbian representatives were selected for this prestigious world competition. Those who met specific criteria prescribed by the Varkey Foundation, which is the organizer of the Global Teacher Prize competition

The criteria that the winners had to fulfill for the placement at "Global Teacher Prize" was the use of effective teaching practices that affect the quality of education at the global level, the use of an innovative curriculum that is inspired by the method of solving new challenges in the future, personal achievements, the impact on the community, the development of students as citizens of the world, the recognition of their work by the community. 

After examining candidates’ applications and additional materials, and taking into account the criteria of the Varkey Foundation, the commission decided to the candidates for the "Global Teacher Prize" are:  

  • Vesela Mačkić, a teacher at the Ivan Gundulić Elementary School from Novi Sad 
  • Mladen Šljivović, a physics teacher at the Zaječar High School in Zaječar   

Vesela Mačkić 

She works as a teacher at the Ivan Gundulić Elementary School in Novi Sad.

They say that she is blithesome, unselfish, creative, and a great motivator. She believes that school should be an environment where students develop the skills they will need in the future. She encourages students' thinking and reasoning through quizzes, associations, and educational films in which students have a central role.

She considers parents as important partners and implements many activities together with them. She is the conceptual author of the Healthy Snack project aimed at the students' healthy eating at school. The project later developed into the entrepreneurial activity Organic Garden. The activities in the garden enabled the students to learn the material, express their creativity and recognize their own potentials and possibilities through ambient teaching, without fear of failure.

Through extracurricular activities, her students participate in puppet shows, cultural events, and sports races where they win prestigious awards and cups.

She recorded over ten educational TV shows with the students.

She is a reviewer of a textbook on entrepreneurship. She continually cooperates with teachers from schools in the area. Also, she collaborates with professors and students of the Zurich University of Teacher Education, whom she hosts in her classroom every year.

She is committed to protecting the environment and is one of the coordinators of the GunduEKOlići team, which during the whole year, collects PET packaging, old paper, corks, cans, and participates in all environmental workshops in the area.

She is the winner of valuable awards from the PS for environmental protection and the PS for education, the non-governmental organization Jasen and the Institute for Public Health of Vojvodina.

Mladen Šljivović

He works as a physics teacher at the Zaječar High School. He worked in the Desanka Maksimović Elementary School and the Medical School in Zaječar. Therefore he gained experience in almost all areas of education. He has been in education since 2006, and since 2018 he has been one of the winners of the title and award Best Educator of Serbia given by the Association "Živojin Mišić”.

So far, his students have won over 30 awards at national competitions and have been selected to the Serbian team for the Young Physicists Tournament three times. So far, his activities have been awarded twice at the European competition STEM discovery week. He likes to use social games in teaching or to base project teaching on that. During online classes with students, he learned about the operation of the Nuclear INC nuclear aid reactor. During the year 2020, in cooperation with the Center for the Promotion of Science, he implemented the Scientific Paparazzi project. In this project, the students were journalists and hosts of a "gossip" show that represented the lives of famous scientists. As a result of this project, we posted ten videos on the YouTube channel.

He is the coordinator of the career guidance team and the author of activities that were multiple times awarded. The treasure hunt was chosen as the best example of career guidance practice in 2019 by Euroguidance Serbia. While the STEM walking tour, an activity in which we visited several local companies during one day and talked to STEM professionals at various job positions, won the second prize.  

He is the author of the Hembizika method, in which students practice physics by devising the tasks they do in class. In this way, they also practice communication skills.

The members of the commission who assisted in this selection are:

  • Branislav Ranđelović, acting director of the Institute for Evaluation of the Quality of Education and Upbringing
  • Dragica Pavlović Babić, coordinator of PISA research in Serbia and associate of the Institute of Psychology in the field of education
  • Ivana Cenerić, research coordinator at the Center for Education Policy
  • Srđan Verbić, former Minister of Education
  • Vigor Majić, director of the Petnica research station
  • Zoran Stanojević, editor and journalist of the Radio Television of Serbia
  • Association "Živojin Mišić"

The "National Teacher Prize" project is part of the "Global Teacher Prize" project organized by the Varkey Foundation for the seventh year in a row. 

The association "Živojin Mišić" has been a national partner of the Varkey Foundation for four years, which means that the project "Best Educators of Serbia" has become a pre-qualification competition for the "National Teacher Prize". 

We are very proud to have the opportunity to choose the best teachers who will represent Serbia in the world!

What the Varkey Foundation team believes in is that every child in the world deserves a high-quality teacher. Therefore, together with their partners, they are building a network of the best teachers in the world. They believe that this is the only way to enable equal education for all. One of the founders of the Foundation, Sunny Varkey, is guided by the idea that education alone can face the biggest problems the world has today, as everything starts with education. 

Through this project, the association "Živojin Mišić" wants to reward, praise, and encourage exceptional teachers in Serbia once again. As well as to give them the opportunity to participate in one of the world's largest education competitions, the "Global Teacher Prize".

Once again, we want to congratulate Vesela and Mladen and wish them good luck in the further competition!  

You can see who are the previous years' winners and about the competition itself here.


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