Sanford Teacher Awards FAQs

What is Sanford Inspire?

Each child deserves an inspiring teacher. The mission of Sanford Inspire is to empower educators with research-based knowledge, classroom-tested tools and practices so they can inspire students to achieve academic and social success. We partner with teacher preparation organizations and PK-12 school districts to strengthen our vision of providing an inspirational teacher in every classroom.

What is Sanford Harmony?

Imagine a classroom where students are empowered to: communicate, cooperate, connect, embrace diversity, and resolve conflict. Sanford Harmony is a social-emotional teaching program that cultivates strong classroom relationships between all students. Sanford Harmony incorporates specialized teaching strategies into classroom activities—from preschool through sixth grade—in an effort to reduce bullying, and help develop the youth of today into tolerant, compassionate, and caring adults for the future.

What is the process for applying?

Teachers interested in entering must complete and submit a nomination form. Individuals, such as the teacher's students, colleagues, program director, school principal, or student’s parent, for example, may also nominate and complete the form on behalf of a teacher they believe should be recognized.

What is the selection criteria?

Nominations are accepted for licensed/credentialed teachers who currently teach in a PK-12 school (public, private or charter). Winners will be selected based on the information provided in the nomination. The criteria for selecting winners is based on characteristics of an "inspiring teacher".

What does it mean to be an inspiring teacher?

An inspiring teacher can be recognized by the following characteristics: Enthusiasm for teaching; empathy and warmth towards all students; fosters positive relationships with all students; creates a positive learning environment; and recognizes student strengths.

Enthusiasm for teaching

The teacher engages the class with excitement, enjoyment and anticipation. The teacher engages students to participate and stimulates them to explore. The teacher sparks the curiosity of the students and motivates them to learn.

Empathy and warmth towards all students

The teacher demonstrates the ability to understand and share the feelings of their students. The teacher provides them encouragement by displaying qualities of kindness and sincerity and is always approachable and accessible.

Fosters positive relationships with all students

The teacher models positive behavior by building trust and rapport with their students. The teacher practices patience and understanding and always interacts in a respectful manner with all students.

Creates a positive learning environment

The teacher creates a safe learning environment where students are accepted, respected, and supported so all can learn and be successful.

Recognizes student strengths

The teacher embraces their students’ traits, qualities and personal skills that can harness the strengths for positive learning outcomes. The teacher retains high expectations of their students at all times.

How will the Sanford Teacher Awards recipients be chosen?

A local committee will select finalists. The finalists’ nominations form will be reviewed by a selection committee based at National University in La Jolla, California. From the group of finalists, (50) award recipients of the Sanford Teacher Awards will be determined.

When will the Sanford Teacher Awards recipients be notified? How?

Finalists who are being considered for the award will be contacted by phone and/or email. Award recipients will be notified by phone and/or email. Due to the high volume of submissions, only those who are being considered for the award will be contacted.

When will the Sanford Teacher Awards recipients be announced publicly?

Winners will be publically announced; when we will anounce is based on the number of entries received. An estimated announcement date will be provided in November 2018.

How will the Sanford Teacher Awards recipients be acknowledged?

The (50) Award recipients will receive an award of $10,000 with one grand prize winner receiving $50,000. All winners will also be featured on the Sanford Programs website, including social media sites and newsletters.

Are there any rules governing how the $10,000 and/or $50,000 teacher award must be spent?

Monetary awards may be spent at the discretion of individual winners and schools. Winners are encouraged to consult school and district policy for any regulations or prohibitions on using the award.

Who is eligible for this award?

Applicants Must:

  • Be a legal resident of the United States
  • Be a licensed/credentialed teacher
  • Teach at a Pre-K-12 school (public, private or charter) in the United States
  • Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible

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