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TESOL Award Recipients Top Banner

The TESOL Teacher of the Year Award

Presented by National Geographic Learning

Who's Eligible?

Any English language teacher who
  • has been a classroom teacher for a minimum of three years
  • is not a previous recipient of this award
Note: Applicants are not required to be members of TESOL International Association.

Purpose

TESOL recognizes the hard work and dedication required to be an outstanding teacher. The TESOL Teacher of the Year Award, presented by National Geographic Learning, was created by TESOL and National Geographic Learning to recognize and honor exceptional English language teachers at all levels.

Award

The winner will receive
  • US$1,000
  • Free 1-year TESOL membership
  • Free registration for the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo the year of the award, plus 3 nights hotel and round-trip airfare
  • A session as an invited speaker at the annual convention 
  • An invitation to the Leadership Luncheon at the TESOL Convention
  • A profile and a published article in TESOL Connections
  • US$250 voucher for the TESOL Bookstore

Criteria

Applicants will be evaluated based on the ability to demonstrate excellence in English language teaching in the broadest sense. Applications should demonstrate candidates’ commitment to high quality instruction and assessment practices, in addition to the ability to lead, serve, inspire, and positively impact students as well as colleagues and the community. The Teacher of the Year Award also recognizes teachers with a deep commitment to ongoing professional development and issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in language education. For more details, please see the Evaluation Rubric.       

To Apply Online

To complete the online application process, you will need the following information. 

Short Essays

  1. Describe your educational background and your reasons for becoming a teacher (300 words, maximum).

  2. Outline your role within your school and its community. (Include roles in which you provide useful and active service to students and the community, and any personal and social service to students outside the classroom. Describe any collaborative partnerships or relationships that you have begun or participated (300 words, maximum). 

  3. Describe a specific lesson plan or project you have taught in the past year. (Focus on the innovative qualities of the lesson plan, specific strategies, and evaluation techniques. Explain how the lesson motivated and encouraged students, and how the lesson plan is exemplary of your overall mode of teaching rather than a singular occurrence (300 words, maximum).

  4. Provide an account of professional development. Please focus on teaching experience, association membership and participation, workshops conducted, current involvement in and/or plans for further education and other creative endeavors or activities that could enhance teaching (300 words maximum).

  5. Explain your views on excellence in teaching, including how you address issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in your classroom and beyond. The explanation should be in the context of your particular teaching situation and students (300 words, maximum).

  6. Other accomplishments. Please list any relevant accomplishments, awards, or recognitions not mentioned elsewhere (200 words, maximum). 

Curriculum Vitae

Applicants are required to submit a CV (5 pages maximum).

Letters of Recommendation

A letter from the applicant's current supervisor and a letter from a colleague or former supervisor is required. You will be asked to provide contact email addresses for the people writing letters of recommendation for you. They will receive a message from awards@tesol.org at the address that you provide inviting them to upload their letter of recommendation directly to the application system. The application system will not send the messages until you have completed your application and clicked on Save and Finalize.

Please ask your letter writers to watch for a message from awards@tesol.org. To ensure that they receive the message, please ask them to add awards@tesol.org to their contacts or their spam whitelist.

Additional Materials

Additional materials that support the applicant’s competencies, such as teaching materials, letters from students, colleagues, or parents; and performance reviews are optional. Up to three additional materials may be uploaded to support the application (all additional materials are limited to two pages).

Convention Session Proposal Round

After the initial evaluation of application materials, the judges select the top candidates. This second round of candidates will be prompted to submit a convention session proposal for the annual TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo. Candidates will be asked to prepare a 10-word title, a 50-word abstract, and a 300-word session description. While they can prepare a presentation on any topic of their choice, it is important that the proposal be connected to the purpose of the Teacher of the Year Award and the convention theme.  Upon review of the convention session proposals, the winner will be selected.

Application Deadline

Accepting applications starting 15 May. All applications must be submitted by 19 July with the two required letters of recommendation. 

Apply Now

2021 Recipient: Khanh-Duc Kuttig

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Past Award Recipients

View a list of past recipients.

Questions?

Please contact TESOL Awards.