Big Apple Awards

Nominations Are Closed Until Fall 2019

Thank you for your interest in nominating an outstanding teacher for the Big Apple Awards. Nominations for the 2019 Big Apple Awards are now closed. Please check back on this page for updates during this year’s selection process, and please return to nominate a teacher next fall. 

What are the Big Apple Awards?

It is a citywide recognition program celebrating New York City teachers who:

  • inspire students
  • model great teaching
  • enrich their school communities

By honoring these teachers, we recognize all those who go above and beyond to serve our students and families!

New This Year: Big Apple College and Career Counselor Award!

We are also pleased to recognize individuals whose efforts have gone above and beyond to improve NYC students’ access and success in postsecondary attainment. The Big Apple College and Career Counselor Award will honor counselors who lead postsecondary planning activities in their school that have made significant strides in advancing postsecondary readiness, provided exemplar college and career supports and services at their school, and demonstrated success on critical postsecondary metrics.

Applications will be reviewed on competencies listed below:

  • Impact on student college and career learning
  • College and career counseling practices
  • Contributions to school and postsecondary community

Big Apple Awards by the Numbers

  • Six years of recognizing teacher excellence in New York City
  • 6,500+ nominations received in 2017 from students, families, teachers, and community members.
  • 1,300+ schools had at least one teacher nomination. That means two out of every three schools in the City had a nominee!
  • 70 percent of nominations came from you—students and their families.
  • 200+ applicants were recognized as Finalists

The Big Apple Award Selection Process

It’s a five-step process that takes many months—and it all starts with you!

  1. Nominations: Students, families, administrators, and community representatives can all nominate a teacher from their school.
  2. Nomination Review: The selection committee reviews all nominations and invites 1,000 nominees to apply for the award
  3. Application Review: A Department of Education committee reviews the applications based on the selection criteria listed below.
  4. Finalists: Up to 250 applicants are invited named as Finalists. These Finalists are recognized as exemplary educators, and get either interviewed or visited by their superintendent’s review team
  5. Board of Judges: the Board of Judges reviews the finalists and recommends final recipients for the Chancellor's approval.

Why Nominate a Teacher?

  • It’s a great way to show your appreciation for a dedicated teacher!
  • Each nomination helps focus on what makes great teaching—and showcases the great work happening in schools citywide!.
  • It’s not just about the award recipients
    • All nominees are considered for additional DOE recognition opportunities this year
    • Finalists are recognized by their district superintendent
  • Big Apple Award recipients:
    • Are celebrated by the Chancellor
    • Will spend the 2019-2020 school year participating in the Big Apple Fellowship
    • Join the Chancellor's Teacher Advisory Group

Receiving the Big Apple Award

Recipients receive surprise classroom visits from the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellors, and other members of the NYC education community, notifying them of their award. This allows us to honor and celebrate these exceptional teachers with their students and colleagues.

That next year, they serve as Big Apple Fellows, in addition to continuing their amazing work in the classroom, they serve on the Chancellor's Teacher Advisory Group. They meet monthly to develop their leadership skills and expertise in education.

Big Apple Award Selection Criteria

Below are the specific criteria used to evaluate Big Apple Award nominees and applicants:

Impact on Student Learning

  • The teacher sets and exceeds standards-driven goals for stellar student achievement (academic, social, and behavioral)
  • The teacher establishes trust with students to allow for true collaboration and broaden impact on student learning

Instructional Practices

  • The teacher uses rigorous instruction through a variety of teaching methods, creates a supportive environment in the classroom that actively engages students in learning, and acts as a collaborative teacher by working with others to innovate and hone their practice
  • The teacher establishes trust with colleagues to allow for true collaboration and strengthen instructional practices

Contributions to School Community

  • The teacher demonstrates effective leadership in and out of the classroom and shows relentless efforts to build strong family-community ties
  • The teacher establishes trust with families and school leaders to allow for true collaboration and expands the impact of the professional contributions

FAQ

Find answers to many common questions below. If you have further questions, please contact us at teacherexcellence@schools.nyc.gov.

How can I help teachers in my community get nominated?

Anyone can nominate teachers themselves through this website. You can also spread the word by posting a link to this page on social media -- be sure to use #ThankATeacherNYC. Nominations open each fall and are announced through the Department of Education's Facebook and Twitter accounts. The nomination period lasts approximately two months.

What information is required for a nomination?

  • Teacher's name and subject
  • Teacher's school name and borough
  • Teacher’s email address
  • Teacher’s principal or education director's name
  • A brief statement on why your nominee should be considered for the awards (250 words max)

What type of teachers are usually nominated?

Nominees can be any current teacher in a:

  • DOE school
  • charter school
  • pre-kindergarten early education center

When choosing a teacher to nominate, think of who has gone above and beyond to serve their students and school. The Big Apple Awards celebrate educators across the City and honor those teachers who inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities. Past recipients of the Big Apple Awards have demonstrated exceptional success in the following areas:

  • impact on student learning
  • instructional practices
  • professional contributions to their school community

Can I nominate myself?

Yes, you can.

Can I nominate more than one teacher?

Yes, you may nominate as many teachers as you like for this award. You will need to submit a separate nomination for each teacher you would like to be considered.

Who will see my nomination information?

The Big Apple Awards team and review committee will have access to nomination information. Nominations are accepted anonymously, and your nominee will not be given your name without your permission. It is possible that statements from nominations will be used anonymously on social media for the promotion of the awards program.

What happens after a teacher is nominated?

It’s a five-step process that takes many months—and it all starts with you!

  1. Nominations: Students, families, administrators, and community representatives can all nominate a teacher from their school.
  2. Nomination Review: The selection committee reviews all nominations and invites 1,000 nominees to apply for the award.
  3. Application Review: A DOE committee reviews the applications based on the selection criteria listed below.
  4. Finalists: Up to 250 applicants are invited named as Finalists. These Finalists are recognized as exemplary educators, and get either interviewed or visited by their superintendent’s review team.
  5. Board of Judges: the Board of Judges reviews the finalists and recommends final recipients for the Chancellor's approval.

What does it mean to be a Big Apple Award winner?

Recipients receive surprise classroom visits from the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellors, and other members of the NYC education community, notifying them of their award. This allows us to honor and celebrate these exceptional teachers with their students and colleagues.

That next year, they serve as Big Apple Fellows, in addition to continuing their amazing work in the classroom, they serve on the Chancellor's Teacher Advisory Group. They meet monthly to develop their leadership skills and expertise in education.

Who is funding the Big Apple Awards?

The Big Apple Awards are made possible through generous funding from The Fund for Public Schools, Lincoln Center Education, and New York Road Runners. Previous Year sponsors include:

  • Leonard and Louise Riggio
  • HBO
  • the Centerbridge Foundation
  • the New York Mets
  • STATE Bags
  • Modell’s Sporting Goods.
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