At Educate Maine, we believe the classroom teacher is the backbone of the American educational system, and our Maine Teacher of the Year (MTOY) program honors their contributions and elevates the voice of the classroom teacher. Our County and State Teachers of the Year serve as exemplars of the teaching profession, and advocates for quality education of Maine students.
Selecting a Teacher of the Year is meant to celebrate the thousands of outstanding professional educators in Maine schools, not to single out any individual as the best teacher in Maine. We believe teacher recognition is an accelerant to change.
Our objectives are to:
What do we look for in Maine Teachers of the Year?
To be eligible for nomination, a teacher must hold the appropriate professional certification for their teaching position and be employed at least 50% of full-time by a Maine public school (including a public charter school), or a publicly supported secondary school (a private school that enrolls 60% or more publicly funded students, sometimes referred to as "town academies").
Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of of the Maine Department of Education and is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization working to advance educational attainment and readiness for work among all Mainers. It is made possible with the support of the Maine State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association, and funding by our longtime sponsors: Bangor Savings Bank (Lead), Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, Pratt and Whitney and the Maine State Lottery.
MTOY is affiliated with the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program, established in 1952, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers. The NTOY is chosen from among the State Teachers of the Year by a National Selection Committee representing the major national education organizations. Each April, the NTOY is introduced to the American people by the President of the United States. Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.
To be considered for the County and Maine Teacher of the Year award, a person must:
Criteria for Teacher of the Year:
Teachers can be nominated by a student or parent, co-worker or administrator, school or district committee, friend or community member. To be considered for the award and continue on with the TOY process, teacher candidates must submit written material to a Review Panel.
Teachers are initially nominated to be the current year County Teachers of the Year - one of whom is selected as Maine Teacher of the Year for the following year. This is a rigorous process, designed by teachers, to ensure candidates an opportunity to reflect on their instructional practices.
Teachers considering participation should click here for a detailed timeline, requirements and support resources.
County TOYS are selected by a panel representing the following stakeholder groups:
The State TOY is selected by representatives of the following stakeholder groups: