New audio podcast series: “Teachers of the Year”

A 45-part audio podcast series, produced by NWEA, the not-for-profit creator of assessment solutions, is featuring the voices of Teachers of the Year (TOY).

From personal childhood stories of poverty and violence to the immense struggles that ESL students face today – these teachers share their personal and powerful accounts of the moment that crystallized the importance being a teacher.

The 45-part series launched on The first 12 episodes include the following:

  • Minnesota’s TOY relates the story of his life, which started with poverty and violence, and how he learned that he’s much more than a teacher of standards; he’s a teacher of the human heart.
  • Indiana’s TOY tells of the immense struggles of her ESL students: “They are here – they are children and young adults, and they need our help.”
  • Colorado’s TOY explains how STEM education is an equity issue and how he shares stories about his students with policymakers.
  • Massachusetts’s TOY – the National Teacher of the Year – shares her most profound moment: contemplating the “purpose of learning.”
  • Tennessee’s TOY tells the story of one of his students, and how that relationship forever changed him.
  • Department of Defense’s TOY tells of how, inspired by her hero Rep. John Lewis, she caused “good trouble” in the Oval Office.
  • Alabama’s TOY shares how one remarkable student inspired her to advocate for the hopes and dreams of underprivileged students.
  • California’s TOY shares what it’s like to feel like you’re on the outside as a Special Education teacher.
  • Connecticut’s TOY talks to us about how she learned to quell self-doubt and step outside her comfort zone.
  • Alaska’s TOY tells us about experiencing the power of collective voice.
  • Arkansas’ TOY shares how the final days with her father helped her see the profound impact teachers can have on students’ lives.
  • Delaware’s TOY shares why sometimes, teachers need to push their students in order to inspire them.

For the series, see