Nominations for the 2009 Teacher of the Year are now being accepted at Irvine Valley College. Anyone interested in nominating a teacher has approximately two months to do so.
Most nominations are student driven; however, any person in a position to evaluate one of the teachers may nominate. The amount of nominations turned in to the school by IVC students always varies from year to year. The school has always had a lot of feedback receiving at least 30 nominations for part time and full time teachers. The nominations must be completed by former students and may recommend part time and full time instructors.
It’s been an annual tradition meant to recognize the teachers that students have felt are committed to providing an excellent curriculum and learning environment.
“It reemphasizes that what the teachers are doing has an impact on students”, said Helen Locke, Director of Student Development at IVC. This year, the school has started posting applications online and they are available through the Irvine Valley College website (www.IVC.edu).
The process of nominating is conducted by Irvine Valley College, but the awards are sponsored by the Orange County Board of Education. Students do the nominating, but the winner is ultimately selected by the Board of Education.
In addition, each nominated instructor is asked to fill out a questionnaire in regards to their teaching style and philosophy.”The award is based on a committee’s decision”, said Rich Zucker, a math teacher at Irvine Valley College and last year’s recipient of the full time teacher of the year award.
It is a countywide competition, with a large monetary prize up for grabs. The instructor who is chosen as teacher of the year for the entire county has the possibility of taking home $15,000.
The winners from Irvine Valley College will be considered in this larger, county wide competition including other community college teachers in addition to K-12 teachers.
Each year in the fall, there is a banquet held at the Disneyland Hotel to honor all of the nominated teachers and their accomplishments. This also presents the runner up teachers with an opportunity to win other prizes.
“It’s always great when students acknowledge the teachers for their effort and effectiveness”, said Rich Zucker, last year’s winner. In regards to the awards, Zucker said, “There are so many good teachers in the district. It’s an acknowledgement of good teaching”.