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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
- 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:
- Developing or using instructional materials creatively and effectively.
- Incorporating innovative and verified effective instructional strategies and techniques.
- Utilizing new scholarship from history, the social sciences, or other appropriate fields.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Professional involvement in activities such as workshops, curriculum development, committees, and other association activities, etc.
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.
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
- professional work history
- school related activities
- 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
- 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:
- Knowledge of students (developmental and cultural relevance)
- Social Studies pedagogy
- Social Studies content knowledge
- Incorporation of state and NCSS curriculum standards, and C3 Framework concepts