10 Ways Educators Are Making Waves This Year 

Oct 13, 2020 by

sea waves

With converting their lesson plans for both in-person and online learning, you wouldn’t think teachers have time to go from ordinary to extraordinary. However, you’d be mistaken. Excellence in education is something instructors take seriously. 

Here are ten ways educators are making waves this year. Let’s take a few moments to celebrate their impressive achievements. 

1. Winning Dedicated Teacher Awards 

Dedication — what is it? According to the dictionary, it’s the act of remaining committed to a cause or purpose. In the educational world, it means putting student learning and welfare first. 

All around the world, educators embrace this ideal. Ahmed Saya from the Cordova School in Pakistan received the Dedicated Teacher Award for 2019. He began his career way back in grade-9 to finance his studies. He quickly realized that teaching is not a profession, but rather, a passion that comes from within. 

2. Innovating New Techniques 

Innovators challenge the limits of what’s possible and encourage others to create bold solutions. Such educators invite their students to take risks while collaborating with their fellow learners. 

Past grand prize winners of the Henry Ford Teacher Innovator Awards include Susan Barkdoll of California and Kristina Glass of Louisiana. Winners receive a $1,500 honorarium and a year’s subscription to The Henry Ford’s educational products and select merchandise.

3. Getting Global 

What could your favorite teacher do with $1,000,000? They could probably open a school in many areas. The Global Teacher Prize is presented annually to an exceptional teacher who made an outstanding contribution to the profession. 

This year, they have narrowed the selection down to ten finalists. One of these is Carlos Mazzone, who teaches computer science in areas of high unemployment and also published several bestselling books on programming. He and his colleagues continue to carve pathways out of poverty for those they teach. 

4. Making the Hall of Fame 

The hall of fame isn’t only for baseball players. Pearson is a big name in the educational world, and they sponsor the National Teaching Awards in conjunction with the Teaching Awards Trust. 

Their mission is to raise the teaching profession’s profile and highlight the positive impact instructors and administrators have in our society. They celebrate exceptional educators for challenging students to learn and forming liaisons with parents and local leaders to create a more vibrant community. 

5. Earning Teacher of the Year 

You might have heard of the teacher of the year awards. The Washington Post established their version of this coveted prize to recognize educators who exemplify excellence in their profession. They don’t stop at the classroom — they recognize principals, too. 

Finalists encourage creative and quality instruction and contribute in a substantive way to improving education in the Washington, D.C., area. The winners of this year’s contest will be announced in April of 2021. 

6. Inspiring Future Leaders

The Sanford Teaching Awards seek to reward inspirational teaching based upon set criteria. Teachers in any pre-K through grade-12 school in the United States may apply — it doesn’t matter if they teach in a public, private or charter school. 

They seek educators who continually expand on current instructional practices to support student engagement and reflect on what works and what doesn’t. They emphasize professional development and strive to continue to learn and grow to expand their art. 

7. Biting the Big Apple 

Teachers in New York City faced multiple challenges this past year. Unfortunately, the roller coaster ride hasn’t stopped yet, with new restrictions looming in some areas. 

However, exceptional educators always get the job done. Teachers like Laura Blau continue encouraging their students to engage in critical thinking and creating artwork. Many of her student’s creations now grace the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Capitol. 

8. Helping Higher Education 

K-12 teachers do a lot, but they don’t complete the educational portrait. Higher education instructors also go above and beyond to elevate the student experience, and the University of North Carolina system strives to recognize their efforts. 

Past winners include Ameena Batada, an instructor at UNC Asheville. She teaches public health and uses a combination of first-person inquiry and classroom community collaborative efforts to inspire students to see existing problems in a new light. She considers her students and herself to share a learning journey. 

9. Embracing Excellence

What does excellence in teaching look like? To Professor Michael Young, recipient of the John W. Rowe Excellence in Teaching Award, it entails setting high standards coupled with a sense of humor to ease stress. 

Young uses a guided-discovery approach to introduce new content, then uses discussion and questioning to deepen their knowledge. He challenges them to look at subjects from fresh perspectives and tailor materials to each learner’s stage. 

10. Varying Their Diets 

Apples have long stood as a symbol of the teaching profession, and the Golden Apple Awards strive to reward teachers who often go unrecognized in their efforts to build more educated communities. The award for educators goes back to 1986, and founders Mike and Patricia Koldyke recently began recognizing outstanding administrators, too. 

Teachers win through nomination — if you know of an exceptional educator, you can suggest them through the website. Eligible teachers work in Pre-K through grade-3 in a public or private school in Illinois. 

Educators Are Making Waves in These 10 Ways

Educators are making waves in these ten ways in 2020 and beyond. If you know an exceptional teacher, consider nominating them for one of the above rewards. 

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