We Proudly Present "Teaching Greatest Hits"!

Inspired by Teacher Appreciation Week in May 2019, this award series was created with the goal of applauding everyday classroom heroes with a wider audience. We asked learning communities to tell us about teachers who deserve a round of applause (and so much more!).

The Teaching Greatest Hits award series recognizes excellence in four integral parts of instruction: differentiation, interdisciplinary instruction, curriculum development, and classroom engagement.

These categories were chosen to emphasize the many ways that teachers empower students in and beyond the classroom. By crafting thorough curriculum and delivering personalized instruction, teachers invest time, money, and endless effort to ensure that students can get excited about learning. When students leave an engaging classroom that connects them to the world, they are more likely to see everyday experiences as valuable lessons.

The nomination period fell between May 13 and July 30: the perfect time to look back upon the last school year and learn from the most pivotal experiences. For two months, we received inspiring stories from around the world about how teachers strive to make a lasting impact on their community. A special thanks goes out to all of the teachers, students, supervisors, and friends that nominated one of the exceptional educators in their lives. Take a look at how the winners in each category were decided below.

How Were Nominees Scored?

Teachers are the true heroes of every school system. We read dozens of submissions from across the globe, and these words rang true throughout each and every one of them. Needless to say, there were some tough calls to make -- so tough that we decided to name TWO winners in the Most Engaging Classroom category!

Each of the categories were scored on a different rubric. But as we saw from the nominations (and personal experience), teachers can shine in a myriad stands on three pillars, hanging from one common theme of empowering students:

  1.  Fostering inclusivity by supporting and uplifting students of all abilities, cultures, and beliefs.
  2.  Impacting students beyond the perimeter of the classroom, by delivering culturally relevant curriculum, opening doors to new interests, and teaching the whole child. 
  3.  Upholding equity in education by providing scalable, dynamic, and personalized learning experiences. 

What do they win? Recipients will receive a cash prize, a personalized TGH platinum record, and a featured spotlight in our “Teaching Greatest Hits” series. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter below to catch the spotlights!

And now, without further ado... we present to you:

The 2019 Teaching Greatest Hits Recipients

Most Interdisciplinary Classroom

Janice Jensen is a music teacher at the Tilley School, Alberta, Canada. Nominated by Joan Foote.

“Janice has applied for and won 12 years worth of grants to provide her students with hands-on, real life projects that influence change within the hamlet of Tilley and the surrounding farming community. Her students are always excited to come to class as they don't know what creative and crazy adventure Ms. Jensen is going to take them on.”

Excellence in Curriculum Development

Amy Swing is a math teacher at Mossy Creek Elementary, Georgia. Nominated by Jessica Sisco.

“Amy has created the gold standard for pacing guides for our county! She developed the template and pacing for 4th grade curriculum that aligns to our state standards. When a fifth grade teacher proposed a scoring system for summative assessments that would provide data that we can correlate to the state assessment, Amy revamped our entire math curriculum and assessments to fit that new scoring model.”

Excellence in Differentiated Instruction

Nancy Cox is a math intervention teacher at Burns Middle School, Kentucky. Nominated by Dane W. Ferguson.

“Mrs. Cox is a highly skilled and trained teacher who has demonstrated an incredible ability to improve student performance in math. She finds games and activities that engage different students throughout each lesson. All of her students experienced an average growth of more than 6 points based on MAP Growth Assessment data.”

Most Engaging Classroom

Connie Michael is a teacher at Crow Agency Public School, Montana. Nominated by Connie Michael.

"Crow Agency Public School is on the Crow Indian Reservation. Connie uses a variety of resources to make the curriculum relevant to students. Mrs. Michael has been involved with the Smithsonian American Indian Museum to use curriculum specific to the history of the Native Americans. Teaching from two perspectives allows students to see the world around them from the perspective of their ancestors, not just that of those who wrote the history books.”


Most Engaged Classroom

Tiffany Hamm is an English teacher at Los Gatos High School, California. Nominated by Liv Johnson.

Tiffany pours her heart and soul into her teaching–creating meaningful experiences for her students that go way beyond the four walls of a classroom. She designed an English 12 (and now an English 11) Social Justice Change course, and her passion for the content is contagious. She is the epitome of a lifelong learner–always seeking new material that is relevant, and deeply connected to creating a better world.”

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