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Massachusetts Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program

Award to a Massachusetts Public School or Adult Learning
Teacher to Recognize Commitment to High-Quality Education

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Deadline Date:

03/22/21 Midnight - Online submission

Description:

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Award to a Massachusetts full-time teacher in a public school or adult learning center to recognize exemplary teaching. The awardee will receive writing, public speaking, and traveling opportunities and will also serve as a liaison and ambassador for state teachers. The annual award program draws attention to issues of teacher quality and reiterates the importance of the teacher as the single most important school-based factor in improving student outcomes.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) values the importance of the educator as the single most important school-based factor in improving student outcomes. Each year the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year (TOY) program honors a Massachusetts teacher who exemplifies excellent teaching in the Commonwealth. 

The Teacher of the Year (TOY) is an exemplary teacher who will serve as a liaison to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and as an ambassador to other teachers in the State. Beyond celebrating the individual, the program looks at the complex work that is involved in educating all students through highlighting student achievement, commitment to the profession, innovations in education, and teacher leadership.

The TOY must also demonstrate:

  • A proven track record of meeting students' needs in order to further student growth and achievement.
  • A commitment to centering racial equity in their practice.
  • Instructional leadership in his/her classroom in addition to being a respected member of and contributor to the larger school and district community.
  • Respect for and nuanced understanding of the different perspectives that contribute to high-quality education, including the perspectives of colleagues, administrators, parents, students, and policymakers.

Opportunities for the Teacher of the Year:

  • The TOY will have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the teaching profession, which will include public speaking and writing opportunities. This is a chance for the TOY to share ideas and to learn from others. It is not the expectation that the TOY speaks on behalf of all teachers. Rather, the TOY should reflect an understanding of the various perspectives that exist among teachers. The TOY maintains full-time teaching responsibilities.
  • Contingent upon the national program and funding, the Massachusetts TOY attends a four-day National Teacher of the Year conference, travels to Washington, D.C. for a week to participate in numerous recognition activities and meet the President, spends a week at Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and, after the TOY's official year ends, attends a "Next Steps" Conference in Princeton, N.J., all with other states' teachers of the year.
  • The Massachusetts TOY becomes the state's candidate for National Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year spends a year out of the classroom traveling across, and out of, the country. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 141288

Number of Grants:

1

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be eligible for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, teachers must:

- Have completed at least four years of teaching experience,
- Spend the majority of the school day in direct instruction of students,
- Possess an active and valid Massachusetts teaching license for the subject and grade level taught,
- Teach in a public school or Department-approved adult learning center, and
- Be a full-time teacher.

This year, preference will be given to nominations and applications from elementary teachers and specialists, although all are welcome to apply.

Note: Co-teachers who are applying together must teach in the same classroom at the same time and be responsible for the same students. (Each co-teacher needs to submit an individual candidate information form, resumé and photograph, but may collaborate and submit one response for each of the four essays.)

Pre-Application Information:

Teachers can apply to be Teacher of the Year themselves, and anyone can nominate a teacher, who will be invited to fill out an application.

Nominations for the 2022 Teacher of the Year will be accepted through March 1, 2021.

Application Process and Timeline:

Round 1 — Preliminary Application (due Monday, March 22, 2021). The application must be submitted by midnight.
Semi-finalists will be selected and notified by April 5, 2021.

Round 2 — Semi-Finalist Application (due Friday, April 23, 2021). Selected applicants will be notified by May 4, 2021.

Round 3 — Classroom Observations (May 5, 2021 – June 30, 2021)
A team from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will conduct classroom observations in person or virtually for selected applicants. Selected applicants will be invited to a finalist interview.

Round 4 — Finalist Interviews (Summer 2021). Interviews with a selection committee will be held either virtually or at DESE in Malden over the summer.

For further details about the application process above, see the URL for Full Text below.

Eligibility, Process, and Timelines: https://www.doe.mass.edu/amazingeducators/toy/process-timeline.html

For more information about the Teacher of the Year program: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6031334/2022-MA-Teacher-of-the-Year-Application

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online nomination form: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6031246/2022-MA-Teacher-of-the-Year-Nomination-Form

Online application form: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6031334/2022-MA-Teacher-of-the-Year-Application

For questions about the Teacher of the Year Program, please email the Educator Recognition mailbox at educatorrecognition@doe.mass.edu.

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
(781) 338-3000

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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