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The TESOL Teacher of the Year Award

Sponsored by National Geographic Learning and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Web Site:
Contact:Awards Committee
TESOL International Association
1925 Ballenger Ave. Ste. 550
Alexandria, VA 22314-6820

Phone: 703.836.0774
Fax: 703.836.7864
Description:TESOL and National Geographic Learning created the TESOL Teacher of the Year Award to recognize and honor exceptional English language teachers at the elementary/secondary and postsecondary/adult education levels. To be eligible, an English language teacher must be in the classroom for a minimum of three years and have not previously received the Teacher of the Year Award or TESOL Excellence in Teaching Award. Note that TESOL membership is not required for the Teacher of the Year Award.

Each applicant must have a nominator, who submits a nominating letter of no more than 250 words. Applicants must provide the following short essays:

• Educational background and reasons for becoming a teacher (up to 300 words).
• Professional development experience up to 200 words (e.g., teaching experience, association membership/ participation, workshops attended/conducted, current or future plans for further education, and other creative endeavors or activities that enhance teaching).
• Role in school and community up to 200 words (e.g., providing service to students and community, personal and social service to students outside the classroom, and collaborative partnerships/relationships begun or participated in).
• Innovative lesson plan/project taught in the past year up to 300 words (e.g., specific strategies, evaluation techniques, how motivated/encouraged students, and how lesson/project represents applicant’s overall exemplary teaching).
• Other accomplishments, awards, or recognition not previously mentioned (up to 100 words).
• Views on excellence in teaching in the context of applicant’s own students (up to 200 words).

In addition to the essays, applicants must submit a curriculum vita or teaching portfolio and at least one letter of reference from a supervisor. Optional materials to demonstrate the applicant’s excellence include other teaching materials; letters from students, colleagues, or parents; and performance reviews.

Applicants are evaluated on their ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; create a supportive and encouraging learning environment; provide quality language instruction based on well-articulated theory, philosophy, educational research, and best practices; incorporate innovative and effective lesson strategies and evaluation techniques by utilizing new scholarship from TESOL or related fields; demonstrate evidence of positive teacher effect on student learning and positive impact on students and colleagues; participate in continuing professional development; play an active role in the school and community through collaborative relationships; demonstrate involvement in the field (e.g., membership in TESOL or an affiliate); and demonstrate commitment to English language teaching.

Nominators and applicants should access the online application system when it is available on the award web page and check for updates on the submission procedures.
Eligibility:Charter, Private, Public
Award(s):One annual winner of the Teacher of the Year Award receives a cash prize of $1,000; $250 voucher to the TESOL bookstore; free one-year TESOL membership; free registration, hotel for three nights, and roundtrip airfare to attend the TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo in the year of the award. In addition, the winner is recognized at the convention and profiled in a TESOL publication.
Deadline(s):Nominations are due June 15, with applications due June 30, annually.
Focus:ELL/ESL/Bilingual, Professional Development
Grade Level(s):K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Higher Ed, Adult
Content Area(s): World Languages
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