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Teacher of the Year Eligibility

A Teacher of the Year candidate must:

  • Be a full-time, certified, in good standing, Pre K-12 teacher in a state-accredited public school at each stage of the recognition process (local, regional, grand division, state and national levels).
  • Spend the majority of the school day in direct instruction to students.
  • Be in at least the fifth year of teaching in Tennessee public schools.
  • Have a track record of exceptional gains in student learning.

Selection Criteria

Teachers of the Year at all levels must:

  • Have a broad understanding of research-based models for effective teaching and of current trends and issues in education.
  • Be facilitators of learning, skilled in implementing creative teaching strategies.
  • Be able to show evidence of positive teacher effect over time related to student achievement through formal and informal documentation.
  • Be able to explain, discuss and defend a personal philosophy of teaching.
  • Be poised, articulate, enthusiastic, and energetic.
  • Be exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teachers.
  • Have a superior ability to teach and to inspire in students a love of learning.
  • Be recognized as leaders in the community as well as in the school.
  • Show active involvement and leadership in professional development and extra-curricular activities.
  • Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.
  • Have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues.