Knoxville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Education has announced the nine finalists for the 2010 state Teacher of the Year Award. Reach Them to Teach Them’s founder, Amy Crawford is a regional winner.
Award criteria include using creative teaching methods as well as being effective school and community leaders.
Crawford has taught middle school in Knox County for many years. In 2005, she became overwhelmed with the pressure to ‘teach to the test.’ “The focus was shifting from truly teaching students to trying to increase the test scores,” says Crawford.
For Crawford, a light bulb went off. “I pushed myself to go beyond those tests and make sure that teaching revolves around one thing and that’s the student.”
After applying this new way of teaching and seeing positive results, Crawford expanded her reach beyond the classroom. She founded Reach Them to Teach Them, a non-profit organization, that trains, motivates and inspires people of influence to equip children to reach their maximum potential.
Through an event held each fall in Knoxville, TN, Reach Them to Teach Them impacts the lives of more than 1,700 people. “But our influence doesn’t stop there,” says Crawford. “Those people return to their classrooms, churches, gyms, campgrounds, and ball fields, more inspired to help mold the next generation.”
Crawford says she is honored by the recognition by the Tennessee Department of Education, but her real joy comes from change she’s making one student at a time. “We have the power to write on their hearts with permanent marker,” says Crawford.
A final round of interviews will be held and the Tennessee Teacher of the Year will be announced this fall.