NCSS Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year

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The annual NCSS Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awards recognize exceptional classroom social studies teachers for grades K-6, 5-8, and 7-12 who teach social studies regularly and systematically in elementary school settings, and at least half-time in middle or junior high and high school settings. Award winners receive $2,500, complimentary one-year membership in NCSS, and present a session on their work at the NCSS Annual Conference, and up to $500 in transportation/lodging reimbursement to attend the Annual Conference.

Application/Nomination Deadline Extended: June 20, 2014

Criteria

  • Anyone may nominate. Self nominations will be accepted.
  • NCSS Membership is required.
  • Social studies teachers for grades K-6, 5-8, and 7-12 who teach social studies regularly and systematically in elementary school settings, and at least half time in middle/junior high and high school settings.
  • Nominees cannot be nominated for the award in more than one category (i.e., junior high/middle school teachers are ineligible for the secondary award).
  • Demonstrated exceptional abilities in the categories listed below:
    1. Developing or using instructional materials creatively and effectively.
    2. Incorporating innovative and verified effective instructional strategies and techniques.
    3. Utilizing new scholarship from history, the social sciences, or other appropriate fields.
    4. Utilizing the ten interrelated themes identified in National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A Framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment as well as integrating College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards four dimensions of inquiry concepts in their teaching.
    5. Fostering a spirit of inquiry and the development of skills related to acquiring, organizing, processing, and using information and making decisions related to both domestic and international matters.
    6. Fostering the development of democratic beliefs and values, and the skills needed for citizen participation appropriate to students' grade level in classroom, school, and community settings.
    7. Professional involvement in activities such as workshops, curriculum development, committees, and other association activities, etc.

Submission Requirements

Each nominee/applicant will be responsible for gathering and submitting all required materials by the assigned due date. Failure to submit all materials by the deadline will disqualify the nominee/applicant for the current award cycle.

Documents

Applicants must upload the following documents with the application. The uploaded documents may be combined in a single zip file or may be combined into a single pdf document with page headers that identify according to the list of nomination requirements. Links to external websites are not acceptable, and will be disregarded by the selection committee:

1. Curriculum vita/resume (2 pages maximum) that includes:

  • current teaching assignment
  • education
  • professional work history
  • school related activities
  • responsibilities
  • organizations
  • leadership roles
  • membership in professional organizations
  • awards/grants/other honors
  • presentations and/or publications

2. applicant/nominee lesson plan including (maximum of 1500 words):

  • subject and topic taught
  • applicable standards addressed
  • integration of C3 Framework (http://www.socialstudies.org/c3)
  • grade level
  • a brief statement indicating the position of the lesson within a larger unit of study (e.g. lesson on Boston Tea Party in American Revolution unit - lesson 3 of 10)
  • prerequisite skills/knowledge students will need for the lesson
  • materials
  • specific teacher level content knowledge
  • detailed descriptions of (and rationale for) instructional activities and pedagogical tools utilized within the lesson
  • a brief statement indicating how the lesson addressed the diversity of learners within the classroom
  • reflection on student learning (including sharing/explaining examples of student work) based on submitted lesson plan

3. Endorsement by State Council of Nominator (2 page maximum):

  • Describe the ways this teacher exhibits excellence in social studies instruction
  • Describe how this teacher demonstrates professional leadership and relates to his/her colleagues
  • Describe this teacher’s unique qualifications to serve as the NCSS Social Studies Teacher of the Year

4. A letter from your immediate supervisor (2 page maximum) addressing the following:

  • What creative projects make this teacher’s work outstanding?
  • How are the concepts of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework (http://www.socialstudies.org/c3) integrated in this teacher’s work?
  • In what ways has this teacher influenced students?
  • Describe how this teacher demonstrates professional leadership and relates to his/her colleagues.

5. A letter from professional colleague (teacher in your building, professor, district supervisor, etc.) (2 page maximum) addressing the following:

  • Describe the ways this teacher exhibits excellence in social studies instruction, including how this teacher integrates the concepts of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework (http://www.socialstudies.org/c3) into their work.
  • How does this teacher demonstrate knowledge of content that leads to high levels of student learning?
  • Describe how this teacher demonstrates knowledge and appreciation of students’ varying skills, approaches to learning, and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

6. A letter from the applicant/nominee that includes (2 page maximum):

  • an introduction
  • a brief narrative explaining how the nominee incorporate state and national social studies standards into your classroom (College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework http://www.socialstudies.org/c3; the NCSS Curriculum Standards http://www.socialstudies.org/standards/curriculum, etc.)
  • nominee's teaching philosophy
  • nominee's unique qualifications to serve as the NCSS Social Studies Teacher of the Year

7. A letter from parent or student (2 page maximum) that highlights:

  • teacher effectiveness
  • unique abilities
  • memorable experiences

Criteria will be evaluated by the following indicators:

  1. Creativity
  2. Knowledge of students (developmental and cultural relevance)
  3. Leadership/professionalism
  4. Social Studies pedagogy
  5. Social Studies content knowledge
  6. Incorporation of state and NCSS curriculum standards, and C3 Framework concepts

Submit a Nomination

Elementary Teacher of the Year
Middle Level Teacher of the Year
Secondary Teacher of the Year

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