The American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) has just made a major announcement. The first AACT Chemistry Teacher of the Year Awards have just opened their nomination process. Awards will be given to teachers in each of three levels of chemistry education. One for K-5 teachers of science, one for grade 6-8 teachers of physical science, and one for high school chemistry teachers.
The application criteria seems pretty straight forward. It is an online application that does require a few short essays including “In what ways have you contributed to AACT”, “How has your involvement with AACT impacted your students”, “How has your involvement with AACT impacted your colleagues” “How has your involvement with AACT impacted you as a professional educator”. There is some brief biographical information required and one letter of support from a non-family member. Applicants must be members of AACT and will receive a $1000 cash prize and one year of membership in AACT. Applications close on February 28.
As I read through this, and I only heard about it myself yesterday, I recognize that this is not just about teaching kids but also about teaching teachers. I have prided myself on being a role model for other teachers and providing a lot of professional development opportunities for my colleagues here in the Los Angeles area and nationally. To see that us “Teachers of Teachers”, as I described myself on my Twitter feed, are going to be recognized makes me very happy. I love everything I do with my high school students but I am also very fond of what I have taught to other teachers. I think it is important for applicants to mention how they have supported their own colleagues.
I am really excited to see that AACT is also including K-8 teachers in this. There is so much we can accomplish in exciting younger students. We should absolutely put a heavy emphasis on improving their exposure to chemistry.
For more details, read the announcement on the AACT website.