The 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award Application Is Open!


The application window for the biannual 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching opens today. As a reader and friend of Teaching Tolerance, your work reflects our mission—and we want to hear about it!

The award honors five successful anti-bias educators whose practice exemplifies these commitments:

Reducing Prejudice

Anti-bias educators who actively reduce prejudice create classroom communities that value students’ many experiences, familial connections and community influences. They use instructional practices and strategies that help students explore intersecting identities, question prejudices and change biased behaviors. Students learn to respect and appreciate diverse experiences, equipping them to reduce prejudice themselves. 

Improving Intergroup Relations

Practitioners who demonstrate excellence in improving intergroup relations create opportunities for interaction within and across various identities. They help students learn to value the contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds and to develop the skills necessary to build relationships across identity group lines. They also equip students with strategies to recognize and interrupt prejudice, stereotypes and bias (their own and others’). 

Creating Equitable School Environments

Creating an equitable school environment ensures all students receive equal and relevant learning opportunities that allow them to succeed. Exemplary practitioners employ instructional strategies and practices that meet students at their individual levels and encourage their intellectual, social and academic growth. Teachers who incorporate a variety of instructional practices, classroom resources and differentiated supports make sure all students meet high academic expectations. These educators assist students’ academic growth and encourage respect among classmates.

Teaching Tolerance will collaborate with winners to produce exemplar videos showcasing their award-worthy classroom management and culturally responsive teaching.

"This award does more than honor skillful practitioners," Teaching Tolerance director Maureen Costello said. "It promotes the value of anti-bias education and provides models so more teachers can bring research-based, inclusive practices to their classrooms."

The application deadline is Jan. 13, 2014 at midnight. Five awardees will receive a $2,500 cash award and travel to Montgomery, Ala., for an intensive collaborative workshop and award celebration during summer 2014.

Click here to view the application and award details.

We hope you will consider applying and sharing the application with other K-12 anti-bias educators in your network!

If you have questions regarding the TT Award please send them to


School Counselors

Submitted by Anonymous on 14 January 2015 - 3:06pm.

School Counselors are required to address the social, emotional and academic needs of all students. Through School-wide activities, classroom lessons, small group activities and individual interventions, school counselors address issues such as: Violence Prevention, Bully Prevention, School Climate Concerns, Character Education, Empathy Development, Perspective Taking, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, School-wide Expectations, Social Mindedness, Academic Planning and goal setting, Social Problem Solving, Academic Integrity, just to name a few. Often it is the school counselor who addresses and teaches tolerance issues and helps classroom teachers integrate these topics into the mainstream curriculum. School Counseling Programs have their own curriculum and set learning expectations for students in these areas. The classroom teacher's focus has increasingly become tending to data driven academic results as in the case of student growth objectives, whereas the counselor's attention has become more focused on data driven behavioral results as in school climate surveys. Additionally, school counselors provide workshops and trainings for parents and present professional development with their peers. They serve on multi-discipline teams. They also are primarily responsible for networking with community agencies and services to form alliances and partnerships that service students and their families. Not including this group of educators eliminates individuals who are often charged with and do the most school-wide anti-bias work. Counselors are charged with developing programs, lessons, interventions, assemblies, resources, services, workshops, and curriculums that address non-violence and social justice on a regular basis. Teaching Tolerance is leaving out a huge portion of educators who actually bring their messages into the schools, share with colleagues, and build programs around anti-bias messages everyday.

From Teaching Tolerance

Submitted by Anonymous on 14 January 2015 - 4:47pm.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. We'll take them into consideration next year when we open the applications for the biennial award.

Just a housekeeping reminder:

Submitted by Teaching Tolerance on 8 January 2014 - 10:37am.

Just a housekeeping reminder: You have to be a current K-12 classroom teacher in order to apply for the TT Award. We recognize that there are many people beyond this scope that are well-deserving, thus we have to keep our criteria to a minimum. Thanks for all of your interest, and remember to pass the word along to other deserving colleagues!

I have been using the

Submitted by Mike Dixon on 8 January 2014 - 10:18am.

I have been using the Teaching Tolerance curricular materials for several years in my freshman and sophomore college Psychology classes. While these materials are designed for K-12, they lend themselves well to beginning college classes where the concepts are highly relevant. My question/comment is this: Why isn't this award open to college-level faculty and shouldn't there be an attempt to promote this valuable teaching tool at the college level?

Thank you and keep up the wonderful work. You have my full support.

Mike Dixon
Associate Professor of Psychology

Hello, I have friend,

Submitted by Aukeem Ballard on 7 January 2014 - 8:29pm.


I have friend, colleague, and mentor who was my cooperating/mentor teacher during grad school. We co-taught together many times and he would be an excellent candidate for this award. Would I be able to nominate or apply on his behalf?

TT Award

Submitted by Anonymous on 15 January 2015 - 1:10pm.

I have a friend who is a School Resource Officer and uses the TT materials when counseling students and offers them to teachers as supplemental materials. This SRO is a person who goes above and beyond to prepare herself to address diversity, teach tolerance specifically avoiding being bullied or becoming a bully, and shares her personal and professional experiences for the good of the group she addresses. I am honored to nominate Deputy Sherriff, Alice Waters, School Resource Officer at Mount Dora Middle School, Mount Dora, Florida as an ambassador for TT.

From Teaching Tolerance

Submitted by Maya on 15 January 2015 - 1:26pm.

The application for the biannual 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for
Excellence in Teaching is closed. The awardees were announced in July 2014: However, we welcome you to nominate your friend in the next application process for the 2016 Teaching Tolerance Award for
Excellence in Teaching.

What about college

Submitted by Ted Green on 7 January 2014 - 5:54pm.

What about college professors? I work with many Education and Social Studies/History teachers. We teach about tolerance every day...can we be included in the award pool?

I am a school counselor in a

Submitted by Myrna Harp on 7 January 2014 - 5:51pm.

I am a school counselor in a 6-8 middle school. I teach in class and small group lessons, all with the common theme of R&R [Respect and Responsibility]. Is the application for classroom teachers only?

Hello, I am a pre-service

Submitted by Maria E. Miller on 19 December 2013 - 10:47pm.


I am a pre-service educator working on my Master's degree at WVU. I am an intern at a local middle school in Morgantown where I full-time student teach. I have developed a research-based inquiry project on how Mix-It-Up has affected this diverse school, and I will be presenting my findings at the National Association of Professional Development Schools conference in March.

I was wondering if I am eligible to apply for this award?


Maria, Thank you for

Submitted by Teaching Tolerance on 20 December 2013 - 12:05pm.


Thank you for contacting Teaching Tolerance. At this time, the award does not recognize student teachers. Congratulations on your conference presentation, and thank you for the work you continue to do with students. We look forward to your contribution in the future.

I was wondering why Pre-K

Submitted by Laurie M on 19 December 2013 - 12:59pm.

I was wondering why Pre-K teachers are not included. The younger children need to be taught tolerance early on before public school. These are critical learning years. Children are not born with prejudice but learn it over time. The earlier we start, the better informed and educated these children will be when they enter K-12.

We agree; Pre-K teachers are

Submitted by Teaching Tolerance on 19 December 2013 - 4:18pm.

We agree; Pre-K teachers are an invaluable resource for children. However, Teaching Tolerance resources are aimed at teachers of grades K-12. Additionally, the 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award focuses on grades that are required in every state; since pre-K is not, it is difficult to point to best practices and accurately measure students success. Thank you for your continued support of Teaching Tolerance and all you do for students.

I developed the curriculum

Submitted by Laraine Gaunt on 18 December 2013 - 2:58pm.

I developed the curriculum for It's OK to be Different over 35 years ago and have delivered it through the years in various schools while I was a full time special education teacher. The curriculum includes many of your materials and you have published two of my lessons. Presently I am teaching the program in Kindergarten and preschool classes at Tower Hill School. We recently sent you an adaptation of the Mix It Up Lunch with our school and a local Day Care Center. I would like to apply for the Teaching Tolerance Award but wondered if I would qualify if I am not a full time teacher. Thank you very much. I would appreciate the opportunity to apply for this prestigious award.
Laraine Gaunt

Ms. Gaunt, You need to be a

Submitted by Teaching Tolerance on 18 December 2013 - 3:04pm.

Ms. Gaunt,
You need to be a current K-12 classroom teacher in order to apply. Thank you for your interest.