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The Teachers Who Make a Difference

Nominate a Humanities Teacher for 2013 Awards

"Who was your favorite teacher growing up?" I love asking this question because no one ever responds with "Hmmm...I don't know." Everyone has at least one teacher who made a difference in their lives, whether imparting a love of literature, the Scientific Method, or simply by being a mentor and setting an example worth following. Often unsung and ever underpaid, such teachers are vital to our lives and the life of our communities. By nominating a teacher for the 2013 Awards of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities, you can give a little back to those who have given so much to us.

Growing up, I had two such humanities teachers. John Frederick reveled in the irreverent humor of Shakespeare, and by refusing to sacrifice meaning to mechanics, he brought the humanities to life in every single class. Bill Garmon's history classes were rowdy and discursive, and history was presented as relevant and exciting. I remember he spent the better part of a semester teasing his legendary unit on if it were a long anticipated feature film we should be dying to see. The amazing thing is...he delivered.

An English teacher and a history teacher. Is it any wonder I work for a humanities council?

In classrooms across Tennessee, outstanding teachers are introducing young students to a lifelong love of the humanities. These teachers are shaping generations of Tennesseans to become good citizens and members of our communities. Last year, Humanities Tennessee awarded three such teachers with Awards of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities. In January of 2013, we will award up to six teachers from across the state who understand the value of a humanities education in preparing students for both livelihood and life. Now is the time to nominate those teachers.

Each award recipient receives $2000 for professional development and $1500 for humanities resources or projects in the classroom.

So look around your community. Who are the teachers making a difference in students' lives through an education in the humanities? They're out there. Nominate one of them for the 2013 Award.