Teacher Awards

I have a problem with teacher awards.  Many of them have to be filled out by the teacher being nominated.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the basic plan:

I think Mr. Smith deserves the Teacher of the Year award (TOY).  So, I get the application form and write some stuff on it.  Then, I have to give it to Mr. Smith, so that he can fill out more stuff and write a letter explaining why he’s so awesome. Then, we send it in.  A committee looks it over and picks a winner.  In our district, the winner is then notified at the end of the school year. That way, if Mr. Smith wins, he has all summer to work on his acceptance speech that he can give when he is presented the award in the fall in front of all the other teachers.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like the idea of awarding people for doing a good job.

I just can’t imagine tooting my own horn like that.  Maybe I’m not that good a teacher and that’s why no one has ever nominated me.  Maybe when I’m nominated (or if), I’ll be happy to write my own recommendation.  But right now, I feel like it’s silly to have teachers write their own recommendations for why they should win awards that someone else is nominating them for.

I thought of this today because I was going to nominate a teacher I know for an outsanding theatre educator award.  Unfortunately, this award follows the same guidelines and I know this teacher would simply decline, because he isn’t interested in awards.  He just wants to do his job.  Which is exactly why he should be nominated (that, and he’s awesome).

Something seems wrong with this system.  I wish someone would explain it to me.

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.

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