“Through teaching, the lives of children change for the better,” says Elizabeth, a secondary school teacher in Zambia.

There’s a reason you remember your best teachers all your life. According to the United Nations, they are the “single most influential variable” in a child’s education and their learning outcomes.

From India to Zimbabwe, from Changzhou City to the Bronx and beyond, educators make a difference in countless ways. Whether supporting the most marginalized students or shaping policymaking at the highest levels, all share common characteristics: a love of learning, and a passion for making it accessible.

At the Yidan Prize Foundation, we celebrate the dedication, enthusiasm, and endless creativity of teachers. This booklet focuses on those stories and the people behind them, highlighting contributions from our laureates and partners around the world.

Here are some of their voices.