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New York City's new system of teacher evaluation and development.
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Great teachers change lives. They unlock their students' potential and put them on paths to success. In New York City, more than 75,000 teachers are making a difference in the lives of our 1.1 million students each day.
The Big Apple Awards is a citywide teacher recognition program open to all current, full-time public school teachers in New York City. Now in its third year, the Big Apple Awards celebrate educators across the City and honor those teachers who inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities.
The Big Apple Awards begin with an annual citywide nomination process open to all members of the New York City education community. After a rigorous selection process, a select group of recipients are recognized in June and receive a classroom grant for their students and schools. They serve as citywide Big Apple Fellows during the following school year, representing teachers citywide as advisers to the Chancellor while they continue to make an impact in their own classrooms. Learn more about the Big Apple Fellowship Year.
By honoring the success of these teachers, the NYC Department of Education celebrates the countless teachers who go above and beyond to serve New York City's schools. We thank each and every one of them for their unwavering commitment to our 1.1 million students.
Current, full-time public school teachers at NYC district and charter schools, as well as full-day pre-kindergarten lead teachers at community-based early childhood centers.
Anyone can make a nomination, including teachers, students, families, colleagues, school staff members, administrators, and community members. During a citywide open call last fall, the Big Apple Awards team received more than 3,000 Big Apple Award nominations. Nearly 60 percent of these came from students and their families.
After the nomination period, a select group of about 500 nominees are invited to submit an application, which includes essays and letters of recommendation. Following a review of the applications, the Big Apple Awards team will interview 100 semi-finalists, of which approximately 40 advance to the finalist round and receive classroom visits. A Board of Judges, made up of NYCDOE senior leadership and a representative from the United Federation of Teachers, then selects the final award recipients. Learn more about this year's recipients.
During all stages of the process, candidates are selected based on their ability to demonstrate exceptional success in their impact on student learning, in their instructional practice and in their professional contributions to their school community.
These competencies are adapted from the NYCDOE's multi-layered Framework for Great Schools for teachers, implemented by Chancellor Fariña and designed to ensure our educators can meet the core goal of student achievement in all NYC public school classrooms. Learn more about the Framework for Great Schools.
The Big Apple Awards are made possible through generous funding from The Fund for Public Schools, Lincoln Center and the Centerbridge Foundation, with additional support from the New York Mets, STATE Bags, and Modell's Sporting Goods.
Help publicize the Big Apple Awards in your school. Download and print copies of our informational postcards (available in both full-size and quarter-size) and encourage community members to submit nominations of their own!
Consult our Big Apple Awards FAQ sheet, or contact us at TeacherExcellence@schools.nyc.gov.
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