How to Honor Teachers, Texas Style!
Knowing that as teachers, you aren't always properly recognized for the all-encompassing work you do, we were so blown away to hear about an amazing program to honor top teachers in a Houston, Texas-area district known as Cypress Fairbanks (Cy-Fair). We think you'll be impressed by it too—and we hope that it can be modeled in other districts throughout the country!
Once Cy-Fair's Top Teachers are identified, they are surprised with a crowning ceremony (see photos!) where they're presented with books and gifts, and they listen to their colleagues shower them with praise. Teachers never know when the next crowning ceremony will take place—these pop up throughout the year in this district made up of 56 elementary schools. (Yep, 56—this is Texas, after all!) ELAR Curriculum Coordinator Jenifer Jones describes the thinking behind the program: "It is our privelege to crown these extraordinary teachers with top honors. It is so important for our community to recognize their talent, creativity, and dedication to their craft. We know their skills have taken years to hone, and they have an enormous ability to support others in pursuit of excellence too." Emilie Manner, the 2-5 ELAR/SS curriculum coach, adds, "This is one of the great pay-it-forward programs at CFISD. I am so excited to have these dynamic new inductees as part of our program, and know they will bring us so many new ideas."
Our Storyworks/Storyworks Jr. team has begun a special relationship with CFISD. Last August we presented at their PD week, just days before Hurricane Harvey hit, and we were witness to how this incredible community pulled together in beautiful ways in the aftermath of the storm. We are so enjoying getting to know this amazing team of literacy coaches and 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-grade teachers. Our editorial team can't wait to hear how these joyful educators are using Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. in their schools and will be sure to share some of their Genius Teacher Ideas with all of you in 2018.
If your district or school also has a special way to acknowledge teachers, please share it with us!