Leading from the Classroom: Insights from the 2016 Teachers of the Year

Leading from the Classroom: Insights from the 2016 Teachers of the YearIn October, I had the privilege of attending the “Next Steps” event with the 2016 Teachers of the Year. For those who are less familiar with the National Teacher of the Year program, it is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and began in 1952. It continues to be the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

During my trip, the teachers were nearing the end of their term as Teacher of the Year. They were together as a collective group for the last time. They spent their time reflecting on their year, on the moments that shaped their experience, and on those that provided an opportunity to use their voices on behalf of teachers, students, and citizens everywhere. The teachers wrote a letter from this process about a moment of epiphany in their year, or to someone they hoped to influence. We then worked with them to capture these amazing stories in podcast form.

Being amongst this group and their seemingly unstoppable energy, thoughtfulness, intelligence, and determination was nothing short of inspiring – and humbling. The love they have for this calling – being a teacher – and the love they have for their students, is such a testament to the profession, and something so needed in this world. They truly are Leading from the Classroom.

We are thrilled to share this series of Insights from the 2016 Teachers of the Year. We hope they lift you up, inspire you, and make you think. Or, maybe you will be brought to tears by these teacher leaders.

Perhaps they will inspire you to use YOUR voice. Maybe one will resonate with your own experiences or hopes, or those you have for your own students or children. We hope you enjoy this special series.

To kick off the series today, we are introducing seven of our Teachers of the Year during the month of December. Keep checking back here on our blog and in the New Year, when we will launch the entire series — Leading from the Classroom: Insights from the 2016 Teachers of the Year.

If you feel inspired by these stories, share one of your own favorite teaching moments with us at See How They Grow.