Awards Process

Hey everyone! As the 2019 Teacher of the Year, Educators in Action wanted me to share with you about the awards process. I hope this encourages some
of you to be active, take advantage of your professional organization, and apply for the awards!

What’s the awards process like? Well, it somewhat starts like this…

5 other teachers pressuring you into getting online to even see what they’re talking about.

4 phone calls to make sure none of your friends are applying for the same award.

3 decoders to tell you what the questions are actually wanting to know.

2 of your teaching buddies to convince you that you are NOT just doing your job.

1 self pep talk, reminding yourself that you aren’t going to get it anyway, just do it, so they’ll let you continue to do your job, and you can tell them you’ve been down that road.

But seriously, the process is pretty easy:

  • In my division, you get online and apply for your division first, mine is BMITE. Then you go through an interview to be selected to represent your division.
  • Then you make revisions and move on to the state level, where you interview [depending on the state – some states conduct interviews, some do not] to be selected to represent your state.
  • Then you make revisions and move on to the regional level, where you again interview [again, some regions conduct interviews, some simply review your application at the region level] to represent your region.
  • Then you move on to national level and have the phone call interview of dead silence… I mean, no one talks but you. Total self-doubt sets in! They do ask you very plainly a few questions. You have 10 minutes to tell them everything they need to know for you to be selected to represent your entire organization at the national level. No big deal…. Right?!

Teachers are the WORST about getting recognition. I mean, we GIVE recognition, and praise, and celebration, every day to our students. But, at an awards session, it’s hard to get us to even stand to be recognized for our contributions!

I want to challenge you this year to go above and beyond in your teaching position, because you never do anything extra, right?! Every time you do something that is NOT in the teacher minimum requirements, document it. Yes, make a list of all the EXTRA’s you do. You probably don’t even realize what all you do! Make sure you are contributing to your professional organization too!

In my building, going above and beyond is the norm. I hope that’s the culture where you are too. Let me tell you something about the teachers I work with, they are AMAZING! I learn something new they are doing every time I ask good questions. But, I have to ask! Otherwise, I’m in my own room, doing all of my own things, for my own students. When I hear about all of the engaging, the encouraging, the speakers, the relationship building, the activities, and the student successes, I get motivated! And these teachers will tell you, “Oh, I’m just doing my job.”

You ask your students to compete in their CTSO. Why are you not competing in your Professional Organization?!

What it comes down to is this. You get online. You answer some questions. You prep for an interview. Guess what, you get to talk all about your students! Figure out how each question can relate back to your students.  When asking you about your activities, turn it into stories about your students or how the activity effected students.

You can do it! Go read the process for your division and state. I hope to see you at VISION in December!


~Liz Dinkins

ACTE 2019 Teacher of the Year Award Winner