Outstanding Language Arts Educator

About this Award

The OCTELA Outstanding Language Arts Educator Award was established to recognize excellence in language arts teaching at the elementary, middle school, high school and university level.

An OCTELA Outstanding Language Arts Educator demonstrates excellence inside and outside of the classroom through leadership in and advocacy for the language arts and focused efforts to improve student learning. An Outstanding Language Arts Educator strives for distinguished teaching and continued professional growth as specified by The Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession:

  1. Teachers understand student learning and development, and respect the diversity of the students they teach.
  2. Teachers know and understand the content area for which they have instructional responsibility.
  3. Teachers understand and use varied assessments to inform instruction, evaluate and ensure student learning.
  4. Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction that advances the learning of each individual student.
  5. Teachers create learning environments that promote high levels of learning and achievement for all students.
  6. Teachers collaborate and communicate with students, parents, other educators, administrators and the community to support student learning.
  7. Teachers assume responsibility for professional growth, performance, and involvement as an individual and as a member of a learning community.

Awards are presented annually at the OCTELA Spring Conference.


All nominees must be a member of OCTELA. Each nominator must be either a member of OCTELA or a building principal. Nominators may use the award nomination form to submit their nominations.

Printable Nomination Forms: Microsoft Word or PDF

Online Nomination Form: http://bit.ly/2i3lUjM

The deadline for nominations for the Outstanding Language Arts Educator Awards is June 1, 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact Virginia McCormac at vcmccormac@gmail.com

Award Criteria

To be selected as an OCTELA Outstanding Language Arts Educator, nominees must clearly demonstrate each of the following criteria as described in the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession. Outstanding Language Arts Educators will achieve exemplary scores in four of five areas on the scoring guide.

A. Language Arts Leadership and Advocacy:

Outstanding Language Arts Educators ensure student learning and well being by participating in decision-making and initiating innovations and improvements for school change in the area of language arts. They are leaders who empower and influence others. They engage in a variety of leadership roles and perform thoughtful stewardship responsibilities for the school community and the language arts profession.

B. Distinguished Teaching Focus on Students and Environment:

Outstanding Language Arts Educators analyze individual and group student development to connect language arts instruction to students’ needs, interests and prior knowledge. They strive to create an environment that engages learners in inquiry, promotes high levels of learning for all students and creates a culture of civility and success.

C. Distinguished Teaching – Focus on Content, Instruction and Assessment:

Outstanding Language Arts Educators have a deep and reflective understanding of the English language arts. They use multiple assessments to evaluate student learning and inform instruction. They continually reflect on student outcomes and make decisions to promote high levels of learning for all students.

D. Continued Professional Growth:

Outstanding Language Arts Educators engage in continuous professional development and reflection. They use multiple resources to shape the focus and goals of their professional development including student learning, assessment data, researched best practices and school and district goals. They evaluate their personal growth, understanding and application of knowledge and develop an appropriate professional plan.

Application Materials

Nominees who wish to apply for the Outstanding Language Arts Educator Award will be asked to submit the following materials:

  • An Informational Cover Sheet
  • A Portfolio of Evidence for each of the four criteria described above
  • Narratives describing their achievements in the four criteria described above
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae