It is the season when states are announcing their super teachers. This year’s Oklahoma state teacher of the year is set to be announced on August 30. The ceremony will be held in the Centennial Building at the Oklahoma State Fair Park.
The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program is coordinated through the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Joy Hofmeister. The program is in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year Program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the ING Foundation.
During the event one high school senior in the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s school district will be awarded the Edward C. Joullian III $5,000 Scholarship. The scholarship established by the Oklahoma State Fair Board is aimed at encouraging students to continue their education, recognize the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year’s school district, and celebrate the contributions of Mr. Joullian to the lives of Oklahoma’s youth.
According to a press release published in Oklahoma Teacher of the Year website, all teachers in state accredited schools are eligible for nomination. This is irrespective of whether they teach in Pre-Kindergarten or Grade 12 or their teaching experience. However, nominees are expected to be super teachers of some sort- they have to possess exceptional skills and be planning to remain in teaching profession for the long term.
“A classroom teacher is one who teaches a group of students every day within the confines of the classroom and does not have administrative duties. Nominees should communicate effectively and demonstrate creative and imaginative teaching on a day-to-day basis,” said the director of the National Teacher of the Year Program. The Director added that the nominees should be able to inspire the value of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities and assure academic success.
The selection of super teacher nominees is very thorough. First, selection is done at the local district level, a process coordinated by the district superintendent. The local school district determines the local selection process and announces the local Teacher of the Year. The twelve finalists, one from each district, are scrutinized by the state selection committee. The scrutiny includes conducting interviews and viewing a 10-minute classroom teaching video presentation.
The finalist chosen by the state committee as the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year then represents the state in the national competition.