Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Teacher of the Year Award Procedures
The National Language Teacher of the Year Award Program
The ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award is intended to elevate the status and the public profile of the language profession at the state, regional, and national levels by creating opportunities to recognize accomplished members of our profession. First and foremost, this process is designed to involve all of our state, regional, and national organizations in promoting the language teaching profession. Second, it is intended to create as many media opportunities as possible to increase the visibility and importance of language learning with the media, policymakers, and the general public. The award also recognizes best practices and excellence in the teaching and learning of languages. All regional finalists are featured in the ACTFL Language Teacher Hall of Fame, located on the ACTFL website at www.actfl.org.
State, Regional, and National Program Phases
The general procedures for the state, regional, and national phases of the award program are available on the ACTFL website.
Generally, the Teacher of the Year Award winners from each state association are forwarded as state nominees for the Central States Teacher of the Year Award. The Central States Teacher of the Year automatically becomes the region’s nominee for the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award.
Procedures for Selecting the Central States Teacher of the Year
From the nominee/candidate perspective, the process consists of three steps: (1) being nominated by their state association, (2) submitting their regional portfolio, and (3) being interviewed by the Central States Awards Committee virtually prior to the spring conference.
The 2024 Central States Teacher of the Year will be named during the Awards and Keynote Presentation on Friday, March 15, 2024. The Central States Teacher of the Year will go on to represent our region at the ACTFL Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 22-24, 2024. ACTFL covers all conference-related costs for regional nominees.
Early each fall, the chairperson of the Central States Awards Committee emails state association leadership a Google nomination form requesting the name of the nominee. States must be current members of the Central States Advisory Council to submit nominations through the provided Google form. State leaders can renew their Advisory Council membership HERE. State association leaders must provide the name of their nominees by December 1, 2023. State association leadership should contact Linda Havas, Awards Committee chairperson, at firstname.lastname@example.org if they did not receive a copy of this form to complete.
Submission of Regional Portfolio
Once candidates have been nominated by their state associations, they should begin gathering all materials required for the regional portfolio. State nominees for the Central States Teacher of the Year Award should assemble the following items:
A Central States Teacher of the Year State Organization Nomination Cover Page. This document will be emailed to state organization leadership upon completion of the State Association TOY Nomination Google form. It should be completed by a representative from the state association and emailed directly to the nominee, who will then include it with their full portfolio.
A 500-word first-person statement on the value of learning languages and developing cultural competence for all learners.
A curriculum vitae of no more than 5 pages. Attendance at past Central States Conferences and/or participation on the Central States Board or committees should be noted here.
A one-page letter of recommendation from a supervisor
A one-page letter of recommendation from a current student
A one-page letter of recommendation from a current or former parent or student
Examples of student work (two individual examples, one page and one-sided only) that reflect the goals of the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (5 Cs). These can be written examples or in a digital format.
Reflection on the student work not to exceed 4 pages (Size 12 font, double-spaced) total for both examples that provides a written reflection about these student examples and how they
demonstrate current best practices of language teaching and learning, including the integration of the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (5 Cs);
encourage the proficient use of the target language by the teacher and students;
provide effective use of feedback, including but not limited to rubrics.
Professional involvement documentation examples (not to exceed 4 pages), including but not limited to certificates, newspaper articles, letters, links to videos, that
demonstrate professional growth and involvement in professional organizations;
provide evidence of a variety of leadership experiences, including advocacy.
Reflection on professional involvement documentation (not to exceed 3 pages) that
describes and analyzes the significance and impact on you as a teacher;
describes and analyzes the significance and impact on student learning and on language learning in your school and/or district or state.
A high-resolution photograph in electronic format (.jpg or .png)
These materials should be assembled and converted to a single PDF file with numbered pages bearing the name of the candidate. When the candidate has completed the regional portfolio, he or she submits it directly to Central States Awards Committee chairperson, Linda Havas, via the Google form that will be provided to each nominee upon receipt of their nomination from the state organization. (If you did not receive this form, please contact the Awards Committee chairperson at email@example.com.) The deadline for submission of the complete portfolio is Jan. 1, 2024.
Important note: The candidate selected as the Central States Teacher of the Year must also submit the above-listed portfolio materials (in addition to a few others) to complete his or her application for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year Award. That regional winner must also provide to ACTFL a Regional Organization Nomination Cover Page and a one-page Contact Information Sheet and electronically sign the Commitment Form.
Interview Preceding Central States Conference
All state nominees who have submitted complete portfolios by the deadline will receive invitations to virtual finalist interviews to be scheduled in late January or early February, prior to the spring conference. Finalists must participate in the interview and attend the conference and Awards and Keynote Presentation to be eligible to move forward as the Central States Teacher of the Year.
During the interview, candidates will be asked to:
Answer 5-6 questions addressing topics such as culture/standards in the classroom, professional involvement, leadership experience, and/or challenges and successes in world language teaching
Give the first 2 minutes of a mock speech or mock press conference to a civic group on an issue of your choice regarding current interest in national foreign language policy. Because candidates may not rely on notes during this speech presentation, it is a good idea to have rehearsed (though not necessarily memorized) your speech before your interview.
Central States Teacher of the Year Award Program Timeline
Central States Awards Committee chairperson contacts state association leaders requesting nominees
States select nominees and notify the Central States Awards Committee chairperson via email by December 1, indicating:
Name of the nominee
Position and school of the nominee
Confirmation that nominee’s teaching load is 50% or higher
Email and cell phone number of the nominee
The best way to provide all of this information is to use the State Nomination Google Form that will be sent to all state leaders. If you did not receive this form, please contact the awards chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 1, 2024
Deadline for candidate to upload PDF portfolios (single document with numbered pages bearing candidate name) to the Google Drive folder provided by the Central States Awards Committee chairperson
Candidate interviews virtually PRIOR to the 2023 Central States Conference
March 15, 2024
Introduction of State Teacher of the Year recipients
Announcement of Central States Regional Teacher of the Year
Duties of Regional Teacher of the Year
The Central States Regional Teacher of the Year will be recognized at both the conference’s Awards Ceremony and related events.
The Central States Regional Teacher of the Year will attend the November ACTFL Convention, representing Central States in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
The Central States Regional Teacher of the Year may make himself/herself available to attend, address or present at state and/or local conferences throughout our fourteen-state region. Arrangements and funding for the Teacher of the Year’s attendance at state and local events will be conducted directly between the Teacher of the Year and the sponsoring organization.
The Central States Regional Teacher of the Year may participate in any number of publicity/advocacy events to create as many media opportunities as possible to increase the visibility of the importance of learning languages and cultures to the general public.
The duties of the Central States Regional Teacher of the Year as delineated above may be superseded by the duties of the National Teacher of the Year should the Central States candidate be named to that position.
For more information about any aspect of this process, contact Linda Havas, Central States Chair-elect and Awards Committee Chair, at email@example.com.