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Tips for Local Teacher of the Year Programs

Program Design

  • Start planning early. Each District Elementary Teacher of the Year and District Secondary Teacher of the Year must have submitted the Texas Teacher of the Year online application by the June 4, 2020, deadline to be considered for 2021 regional/state honors.
  • Ask administrators in other districts that participate to share their processes and ideas. Check with the regional Teacher of the Year awards coordinator at your ESC if you do not know which districts participate.
  • Contact the Texas Teacher of the Year coordinator at TASA for assistance.
  • Include teachers in the planning process and make recognition of your local teachers the focus of the program, not the competition for a state-level nominee.
  • Designate one central office staff person to serve as coordinator of your district teacher of the year program. In many districts the director of public information coordinates the program. Curriculum and personnel directors might also take on this duty.
Districts that need an application for their internal Teacher of the Year award program processes may find this interactive PDF form useful. It requires the same information that districts must submit via our online form to nominate District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year for the Regional/Texas Teacher of the Year award programs.

Download the sample form

 

Nomination and Selection

  • School districts and open-enrollment charter school operators/districts may nominate two teachers — one elementary and one secondary educator — for regional and state honors. In most cases, the elementary category consists of early childhood/pre-K through grade 5 teachers, and the secondary category is for teachers of grades 6-12. However, grade divisions and classroom arrangements vary from district to district.
  • Important Note for Charter Schools: Charter operators/districts with multiple campuses (whether they are all in one ESC region or in multiple) should select one elementary teacher and one secondary teacher for submission to the regional competition. A teacher nominated by a charter operator should enter the number of the Region ESC where their campus is located into the online application. Their application will be considered along with all other applications within that region. As such, a charter operator may have an elementary teacher submitting an application to one region and a secondary teacher submitting an application to another region.
  • Use a democratic process to select your nominees:
    • Small districts may wish to allow teachers to nominate themselves for the honor.
    • Principals on each campus might ask teachers to nominate one of their peers to represent their campus in the local district contest.
    • Principals might ask department heads to select a campus nominee. Campus faculty councils or advisory groups might select several nominees, with one campus representative chosen from among the nominees by a vote of all teachers on the campus.
    • Another option is to involve parent organizations in selecting campus nominees.
  • Once campus representatives are chosen, or if nominations are open to all interested teachers, a district selection committee might be appointed. This committee could include representatives of parent groups, teacher organizations, non-certified personnel, principals, the president of a high school student council, the local newspaper publisher, the chamber of commerce president, a school board member, previous teachers of the year and others. Existing committees within the district, such as curriculum councils or district-wide faculty councils, might also take part in selections.

Publicity and Sponsorship

  • Enlist the help of your local newspaper and/or television station to publicize the selection of your campus and district teachers of the year. Tell your local news media representatives about the program and this positive story about public education.
  • Ask local businesses and organizations to get involved with your program and seek their support for awards and recognition.
  • In normal times, we suggest honoring the winners and finalists at special functions and at any annual staff banquet, or asking local teachers of the year to represent your district at community functions, as well as at regional, state, or national conferences. However, during these times of social distancing, creativity is in order! See how Longview ISD honored their district teachers of the year.

Learn more about the Texas Teacher of the Year program.

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