Teacher Recognition Elevates the Profession

By Angelique Kwabenah March 25th, 2014 10:00 AM

While I know that my work as I teacher is challenging, I love my job and the rewards that it brings.  I would do it no matter what, but it always feels good to be recognized in unique and innovative ways.

For me, this recognition came through my participation in America Achieves.  America Achieves is a fellowship that selects highly qualified teachers from around the country and provides them with an opportunity to network and learn more about the educational policymaking process. In addition, fellows participate in the yearly Education Nation Conference where they are given the opportunity to meet local and state education policy makers. When I attended this conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and share with him my concerns about the state of education today. The fellowship also helped me network with other exemplary teachers from around the country and exchange ideas about strategies for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Teacher Professional Development Models. I really enjoyed this opportunity to network at the local and national level, and this unique experience made me a better advocate for my profession.

As a DCPS teacher, this recognition has not been limited to fellowships and leadership development.  Highly Effective teachers are eligible for several teaching awards, all of which are presented at the annual Standing Ovation Awards Ceremony at the Kennedy Center. I had the distinct pleasure of being selected as a DCPS Teacher of Excellence in 2011, and the district played a video montage of my class during the celebration. I also received a monetary award of $ $10,000 and that left me absolutely speechless! This was followed by a call from Chancellor Henderson during my summer vacation congratulating me for all of my hard work, and I was truly humbled.

Leadership opportunities through LIFT and the Standing Ovation Awards Ceremony are just two of the ways that the District of Columbia Public School System shows how much teachers are valued in the system. Every day, students are being affirmed and encouraged by their teachers for their hard work. As a teacher, I feel that we are being affirmed and encouraged by DCPS for the hard work that we do as well.