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aMAzing Educators

2022 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

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Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, teachers must:

  • Have completed at least four years of teaching experience,
  • Spend the majority of the school day in direct instruction of students,
  • Possess an active and valid Massachusetts teaching license for the subject and grade level taught,
  • Teach in a public school or Department-approved adult learning center, and
  • Be a full-time teacher.
  • This year, we are giving preference to applications from elementary teachers and specialists, although all are welcome to apply.

Note: Co-teachers who are applying together must teach in the same classroom at the same time and be responsible for the same students. Please see "General Application Instructions" below, which explain how to submit an application as co-teachers.

Application Process and Timelines

Instructions: Teachers can apply to be Teacher of the Year themselves, and anyone can nominate a teacher, who will be invited to fill out an application. Please read the explanation of the application process below, which includes a timeline and details regarding submission requirements for the Round 1 application. For more information, please visit the Teacher of the Year webpage.

  1. Round 1 — Preliminary Application (due Monday, March 22, 2021)
    • Includes candidate information, essays, and a photograph provided through the Alchemer application.
    • Candidates may submit video responses in lieu of essays.
    • Semi-finalists will be selected and notified by April 5, 2021.

  2. Round 2 — Semi-Finalist Application (due Friday, April 23, 2021)
    • Candidates must complete a written task and submit contact information for two references.
    • Candidates must submit a 20- to 30-minute video of themselves teaching.
    • The candidate's principal must submit a letter of support.
    • Candidates have a phone conversation with the TOY coordinator.
    • Selected applicants will be notified by May 4, 2021.

  3. Round 3 — Classroom Observations (May 5, 2021 – June 30, 2021)
    • A team from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will conduct classroom observations in person or virtually for selected applicants.
    • Selected applicants will be invited to a finalist interview.

  4. Round 4 — Finalist Interviews (Summer 2021)
    • Interviews with a selection committee will be held either virtually or at DESE in Malden over the summer. For a candidate to be considered a finalist, they must go through the interview process.
    • The recommended candidate will have an interview with the senior associate commissioner of the Center for Instructional Support and the commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Round 1 Application: Due Monday, March 22, 2021

Overview and Instructions

Section of the ApplicationSubmission Instructions
Candidate InformationComplete the information online through Alchemer
Professional ResuméAttach your current resumé through Alchemer
Application Essay QuestionsEnter the essays through Alchemer
Photograph (recent color head and shoulder photograph suitable for publicity purposes)Attach through Alchemer

General Application Instructions

  • Review the application process and eligibility requirements prior to submitting an application.
  • Observe instructions throughout, including word limits.
  • Unless otherwise noted, the application must be completed online (Word/PDF documents, as applicable)
  • For co-teacher applications, each teacher needs to submit an individual candidate information form, resumé, and photograph but may collaborate and submit one copy of each of the essays. The principal needs to submit only one form and one letter for co-teachers.

Please be aware that the material you submit will be the only information upon which this part of the application will be judged. Please do not submit additional materials.

Application Essay Questions

Please answer the following application essay questions and enter your answers into Alchemer prior to submitting your application. Answers may also be submitted via uploaded video. Please adhere to the word count or video time maximums.

  • Describe a content lesson or unit that defines you as a teacher. How did you engage students of all backgrounds and abilities in the learning? How did that learning influence your students? How are your beliefs about teaching demonstrated in this lesson or unit? (maximum 750 words or 6 minutes)

  • Describe a project or initiative you have been involved in which contributed to the improvement of overall school culture. What was your role, how did you collaborate with others, and what is the status of this project today? Please include evidence of student impact. (maximum 500 words or 4 minutes)

  • How do you ensure that education transcends the classroom? Describe specific ways in which you connect your students and the community? Please include evidence of student impact. (maximum 500 words or 4 minutes)

Do not submit until you have attached your resumé, completed the essays, and attached a photograph. Please do not include any identifying student information.

Last Updated: February 9, 2021

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.