2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching
Today’s teachers must do more than simply teach the three R’s; they must prepare students to live and thrive in an increasingly diverse society. Under the guidance of skilled anti-bias educators, all students can acquire the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to meet these challenges. As a result of their practice, students not only find opportunities to achieve academically, but to work collaboratively across identity groups to solve problems and effect change.

We know that students achieve when they learn in environments governed by respect. Successful anti-bias educators value students’ experiences, cultures, families and communities. They actively promote respect, acceptance and appreciation for diversity. They improve relationships across identity groups through direct and indirect contact in ways that impact the classroom and beyond. Through effective practice, continued professional growth and sensitivity, they foster equity in their classrooms and schools.

The 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching seeks applications from exemplary anti-bias educators who create positive changes in the personal and academic lives of their students.

The Award
The 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes five educators from across the United States whose teaching employs research-based classroom practices aimed at reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and creating an equitable school environment. Teaching Tolerance will film these educators in their classrooms, allowing their skillful implementation to serve as a model for other professionals. Awardees are expected to be effective spokespeople for anti-bias education, able to demonstrate the link between instructional practice and relevant scholarship.

To be considered for the award, you must:

• Be a K-12 classroom teacher;
• Teach within the United States;
• Be able to provide concrete examples of practice and success;
• Be able to secure approval to film you and your students in your school;
• Be available to travel to Montgomery, Ala., for an intensive workshop and award ceremony to be held in July of 2014.

Selection Criteria
To qualify, the educator will demonstrate excellence in teaching practices that reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations and create an equitable school environment. These practices may include direct instruction, classroom management, family and community engagement, and teacher leadership. Excellence in practice is outlined below:

Prejudice Reduction
Anti-bias educators who actively reduce prejudice create classroom communities that value students’ many experiences, familial connections and community influences. They use instructional practices and strategies that help students explore intersecting identities, question prejudices and change biased behaviors. Students learn to respect and appreciate diverse experiences, equipping them to reduce prejudice themselves.

Improvement of Intergroup Relations
Practitioners who demonstrate excellence in improving intergroup relations create opportunities for interaction within and across various identities. They help students learn to value the contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds and to develop the skills necessary to build relationships across identity group lines. They also equip students with strategies to recognize and interrupt prejudice, stereotypes and bias (their own and others’).

Creation of Equitable School Environments
Creating an equitable school environment ensures all students receive equal and relevant learning opportunities that allow them to succeed. Exemplary practitioners employ instructional strategies and practices that meet students at their individual levels and encourage their intellectual, social and academic growth. Teachers who incorporate a variety of instructional practices, classroom resources and differentiated supports make sure all students meet high academic expectations. These educators assist students’ academic growth and encourage respect among classmates.

Selection Process
1. Teaching Tolerance will screen applications and identify the top 25.
2. A committee of practicing and veteran teachers and scholars will score these applications and select 10 finalists.
3. Finalists will be notified in the Spring of 2014.
4. Finalists will submit a portfolio that includes:
• a 100-word biography;
• one lesson plan that highlights how the educator meets all three award criteria;
• a 250-word narrative of student work, including examples;
• a three- to five-minute teacher-created video that demonstrates the candidates’ proficiency in the award criteria.
5. The committee will review finalists’ portfolios and select the five awardees.
6. The five awardees will be notified in March of 2014.

Award Winners
The 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching winners will receive a $2,500 cash award.

Awardees must be willing and able to participate in an on-site interview and secure permission to conduct classroom filming with students between March and May 2014. The filming may take up to two days and is aimed capturing best practices in cultural responsiveness and excellence in teaching. Each on-site visit will result in footage that will be used by Teaching Tolerance to develop professional development materials. Additional footage from classroom visits will be used in Teaching Tolerance professional development resources and made available to Teaching Tolerance’s nationwide audience.

Awardees must be willing and able to travel to the Southern Poverty Law Center headquarters in Montgomery, Ala., during July 2014 for an intensive collaborative workshop and award celebration. During the workshop, awardees will create an educational resource that demonstrates best practices in anti-bias education. All travel expenses will be paid by Teaching Tolerance.

Interested teachers should complete and submit the following application by Jan. 12, 2014.
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