Nominations for the 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards through the Arizona Educational Foundation are due Thursday, April 30.
Any full-time certified teacher working in Arizona at a state-accredited public school or school operating under the Bureau of Indian Education is eligible to apply at www.azedfoundation.org/teacher-of-the-year.
Additionally, applicants must spend the majority (more than 50 percent) of their teaching assignment in direct instruction to students; teach any grade pre-K-12th (or combination) in Arizona. Teachers may work in any content area, including special education, P.E., the arts, etc.; have completed at least six full years as a classroom teacher at the time the application is submitted with the most recent three years in Arizona; be a full-time teacher and plan to continsue in an active teaching status through 2021; not have been selected as an AEF Teacher of the Year, Semifinalist or Ambassador for Excellence in the past; be available to fulfill ambassadorial duties during the year of service and be supported by their employer.
The nomination process is entirely open. Teachers may self-nominate, be nominated by a student, co-worker, administrator, school or district committee, friend or family member.
Once nominated, eligible teacher candidates must submit a written application that is reviewed by a panel of judges consisting of educators, students and members of the business community. The applicant pool is then narrowed to 10 finalists.
The 10 finalists are asked to prepare a 10-minute video teaching in the classroom. The final selection process includes each of the finalists engaging in an in-depth, in-person interview with the panel; review of their teaching video; and an impromptu speech given by each finalist.
The panel then determines which of the finalists will become the AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year.
Four of the finalists will be named “AEF Ambassadors for Excellence.” The remaining five are Semi-Finalists. All 10 are recognized at the annual Teacher of the Year Awards.