Scholarship Entry Rules
The "Inspire Our Future" scholarship is now closed.<!- mfunc feat_school ->
Join us in congratulating our past scholarship recipients and see what they have to say about where they find their inspiration...
Past "Inspire Our Future" Scholarship Recipients
2020 Recipient - Hunter Reynolds
Current MAT Student at Liberty University
My path to become an educator has been a unique one. I majored in Forestry as an undergraduate, with the intent to obtain a master's degree in education after graduation. Instead, I taught high school biology, algebra, and computer applications along with coaching varsity football and soccer directly after graduation as a provisional teacher. I then decided to go back to school full time to obtain a Master of Arts in Teaching from Liberty University. I am currently a full-time, online graduate student at Liberty University, and a paraprofessional at a public high school. For this reason, I will write from the perspective of a prospective teacher.
Every teacher has heard the adage, "They won't care how much you know, until they know that you care." When considering the relationship between inspiration and learning, this is often the phrase that comes to my mind. According to this phrase, learning occurs when the students see that their instructor is working for their benefit. I would argue that students who have been made aware of their teacher's care for them are, in fact, inspired. This inspiration will then awaken a spirit of self-discipline in the students' minds that will then push them towards excellence. The fundamental question then becomes, how do we as teachers show the students we care? I would like to submit to you what, I believe, are the two most effective ways to show students that you, the teacher, care. These concepts, once applied to a teacher's philosophy as foundational principles, will beneficially affect every aspect of one's teaching practice.
The first way that a teacher can show their students that they care is to hold them accountable. Love is an action. To properly exhibit the authentic type of love we want to share, teachers must actively intervene in a student's life. Teachers have a unique responsibility in that we can shape a student's behavior while they are under our leadership. A typical K-12 student is still learning how to behave in our society. Teachers have a tremendous opportunity to direct a student towards strong character. Once the teacher takes steps of intervention, the result is a realization of the student that the teacher is expending effort for their benefit. When the student sees that the teacher is holding them accountable for their enhancement, the student will then conclude that the teacher cares for them. Once the student can see that the teacher genuinely cares for the student, a level of inspiration will occur that drives that student toward long-term success. For example, assume that I am teaching a class of high school students. One student chooses to play games on his smart phone during instruction. Of course, it would be easier for me to continue teaching and focus on the students that are engaged. However, if I want to truly show that student that I care about his success, I will intervene in his inappropriate behavior. Intervening, with the proper attitude, in this situation shows this student that I will not allow him to make decisions that are destructive to his education.
While accountability is a highly effective way to show students that you care for them, accountability must accompany consistency to be fully effective. Accountability cannot be a one-time event. If students are to be inspired by their teacher, the teacher must have a consistent attitude of accountability for all students. Let us revisit the example of the student who chose to disengage from the instructional activity. If I, the teacher, corrected this behavior in only this instance, the students would see my attempt at accountability as superficial and disingenuous. Likewise, it would also lead them to conclude that my expressed care for them is also superficial and disingenuous. If a teacher wants to inspire the students, the teacher must love them. If the teacher wants to show the students love, the teacher must hold them accountable. If the teacher wants to truly hold the students accountable, the teacher must do so consistently. As you can see, a student's inspiration is dependent on the teacher's love. When the student sees that teacher cares, the students will be inspired.
2019 Recipient - Marsha Neal
Future Doctor in Education with an emphasis in STEM Student
The motto in my classroom is "Use what you know to figure out what you don't know." This same motto is relevant in my life when it comes to my desire for a Doctor of Education Degree in Leadership, with an emphasis in STEM. All the schools I have taught in have been Title 1 schools, in poverty stricken areas. My goal is to use what I have learned by teaching in Title 1 schools to still figure out what I don't know… discovering even more techniques and strategies in STEM to open up avenues to low-achieving students in poverty stricken areas in order to make them successful.
By the age of 9, I knew I wanted to be a teacher and my 5th grade teacher was my inspiration to go into teaching. It was the first year that a teacher really motivated me, made me love school and encouraged me to excel. During 5th grade, I learned the value of instructional tools in the classroom. I was in the GT afterschool program and was excited about the program because we were going to learn about photography and would be using cameras! Remembering this experience has ignited a passion in me to write numerous grants to receive those "exciting tools" in my classroom, like my math manipulative library, robotic kits, and the three 3-D printers my students are now able to use. My passion to improve the education of my students helped me achieve the distinction of being voted 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year at Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School.
I have started an afterschool robotics program at my school, thanks to over $7000 in grants I received this year. Next year, I am hoping to leave the classroom as a math teacher and start a STEM lab in the middle school as part of the Related Arts program. My desire is to focus on ways to improve the education in poverty stricken Title 1 schools and allow them function at the same academic ability as students from larger, wealthier districts. I hope for my students to finish school and be ready for the future, no matter what the future holds, and to instill in them a love of learning, which will affect them for the rest of their lives.
My experience in teaching in poverty stricken Title 1 schools has prepared me to see education through different types of lenses and has instilled in me a great desire to help as many children as I can along the way. Children's education should not be based on where they grew up; they all deserve the chance to experience STEM activities on a daily basis.
2018 Recipient - Kaitlyn McGoldrick
Current Undergraduate in Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech Community College
Once I officially become an Early Childhood Educator, I want to be able to inspire my students. I will first do this by making my classroom 100 percent inclusive. Over my high school years, I
worked in a childcare center, that to me, was not 100 percent inclusive.
Children with Autism and behavioral problems were excluded from activities, and
sometimes excluded from childcare all together. This is not okay with me. When
I get my associate degree, and become a head teacher in my own classroom, I
will ensure that everyone is included. I believe that having an inclusive
classroom is very important for inspiring students because children tend to
copy what they see. If they see the teacher treating everyone the same, and including
everyone, then the children will treat their friends with equal respect too.
This is important because there is already so much hate and discrimination in
the world, my students should not have to face that same hate within my
classroom. I want to teach a generation of children that is full of love and
respect, rather than hate and violence.
I will inspire my students to always try their best at whatever they do. I will teach them that their best,
might not be the same as their friends best, but that is okay. We are all different,
and that is something to celebrate. I will model this behavior myself, by
always trying my best and giving my all in whatever I do. Modeling this
behavior is very important, especially in Early Childhood Education because
young children are huge fans of "monkey see, monkey do". If I show them that I always
try my best, then hopefully they will also do the best they can.
I will inspire my students to look at the positives in the world. It seems every day I turn on the news there is a sad, negative news story. I will bring in 5 positive news stories a day, 5 positive
things that are happening in our world. I once read that for every negative
thing that is said/done, there needs to be 5 positive things to counter act it.
If my students can hear positive stories, I hope it inspires them to pay
attention to the good in life. If we focus on the positive than maybe one day
when we turn the news on, there will not be constant negative news stories.
Overall I want to inspire my students to do the best they possibly can in life.
I want them to be excited about coming into the classroom, I want them to be excited about life. I want
them to continue to see the world in a positive light, even as they grow into
middle childhood, and young adulthood. I believe we as teachers have the power
to change a student's life, and I would like to believe, that we have the power
to change the world. Parents entrust us with their babies, and it is our duty
to inspire them to want to change the world too.
2017 Recipient - Abby Burns
Secondary Education - English Specialization Candidate at Southeastern University
Hi, my name is Abby Michele Burns and I grew up in St. Augustine, Florida. I am currently attending Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and I am pursuing a degree in Secondary Education specializing in English. Growing up I had always seen myself as a teacher. After graduating high school, I had huge doubts about what I was going to do with my career. It felt like being a teacher was no longer as fantastic as what I had once dreamed.I got push back from a lot of people I looked up to, saying that teaching was a "last resort" job or that I had more potential than spending my life in a classroom. I decided to stay home and attend my local community college to take some time and decide on what career would be best for me. Soon, it was already the last semester at my community college and after two years I was still scrambling for an idea of where I wanted to be. One day I sat down and told myself to stop wondering and start knowing. I took a few of those silly online career placement tests and one after the other, they all resulted in a career in education. I wasn't surprised. I knew that teaching had been my calling all along but somehow I had been talked out of it. At that moment, I decided to stop fighting against what I knew to be the perfect career for myself. I still get comments to this day about the horror that is teaching and it baffles me the amount of negativity that people see in the teaching career. Yes, it is a tough job. No, it doesn't pay a lot. Yet this is a career that I have been called to and my passion for teaching grows with every passing day.I cannot wait to have a classroom of my own where I can share my passion for learning while influencing the lives of my students in a positive way. I want to be a voice to my students that says their goals are important and worthy of success. My dream is to be a teacher that never loses her sparkle, to remain a light within the world of education. My family has supported me in all my passions and I would not be where I am today without them. I plan on using this scholarship to assist my family in paying for my college tuition in gratitude for their love and support.
2016 Recipient - Lauren Trame
Master's of Education Candidate at Northern Kentucky University
Hello! My name is Lauren Trame and I am a fourth grade teacher. I grew up in Taylor Mill, Kentucky. When I graduated from the University of Kentucky, I decided to come back home and teach in the school district that I grew up in. Both of my parents are teachers and ever since I was a little girl I was running around the hallways of a school. From a young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I saw how hard my parents worked every day and how they were affecting their students. I wanted to have the opportunity to have that same impact on my own students. I am completing my first year of teaching and it has been a great learning experience for me. I am excited to continue my education this summer by starting the Master's of Education Program at NKU. This scholarship will help me continue to be a lifelong learner and achieve my goal of obtaining my Master's. I am so grateful to have received this scholarship from Teacher.org!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. ALL SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AWARDED SUBJECT TO RESTRICTIONS AND CRITERIA, AND THE WINNERS' MAINTAINING ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, AS DEFINED IN THESE RULES.
SCHOLARSHIP OVERVIEW: Teacher.org will post a question and entry form for candidates to fill out. The form(s) will be found on all applicable Teacher.org pages. Candidates will answer the question with a response of 500 - 700 words. Teacher.org will pick one winner with the best answer among all entrants. Entrants can only apply to one Teacher.org scholarship.
Applicants can major in the following degrees:
- Child Development Degree (Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate)
- Early Childhood Education Degree (Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate)
- Bachelor's in Education Degree
- Master's in Education Degree
- Doctorate in Education Degree
- Educational Leadership Degree (Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate)
- Secondary Education Degree (Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate)
- Special Education Degree (Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate)
- Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
CONTEST DURATION: This contest ends on the night of April 1st, 2021 at 11:59pm PST. Once the deadline has passed, no further entries for the contest will be accepted. Teacher.org will announce the winner via personal email to the entrant, on social media, and/or its website within two weeks of the end date of the contest. Teacher.org reserves the right to change any beginning or end dates of the Contest. Note: This is an annual scholarship.
PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open to (1) any college student pursuing a degree in education as named above anywhere in the world (2) who is at least 18 years of age, (3) currently enrolled in an accredited college or university, as listed on the U.S. Department of Education website, available at http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx or its equivalent in countries outside the U.S.(4) with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and (4) who completes the entry form on Teacher.org. The contest is void where prohibited by law. Entries must be from individuals only; groups, organizations, and multiple-party entries are not eligible. The Contest is governed by United States law and is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Employees of Teacher.org, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies, judges, and members of the immediate family or household of each are not eligible. Immediate family members include parents, siblings or any person residing in the same household as employee.
ENTRY: Entrants must go to www.teacher.org to fill out the entry form and answer the question in the space allotted with a 500-700 word response. The answer must be original and must have been created by the entrant; entries that plagiarize the work of others will be disqualified. Teacher.org may verify the eligibility of each applicant; if an applicant is found to be ineligible to enter the contest, their entry will be considered invalid. Entrants must fill out all required portions of the entry form to be eligible for consideration. Limit one entry per person per contest; if an applicant enters more than one time they will be disqualified. Teacher.org reserves the right to verify an applicant's information, the originality of the answer, or any other facet of an applicant's entry if further investigation is deemed necessary. By entering you agree to accept and be bound by these rules. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries.
CLAIMING YOUR AWARD: The winner(s) will be notified by email and/or phone; failure to provide accurate contact information may result in disqualification and if unable to reach a winner within 72 hours, Teacher.org may in its discretion award any scholarship to any other contestant. No guarantee of notification is made to applicants who do not win the Scholarship Contest. This scholarship will be awarded to the winner(s) directly.
No payment will be granted until Teacher.org is able to verify with the winner's institution that all college/university enrollment information (including GPA) is accurate. Winner will be required to submit an official transcript to Teacher.org. Teacher.org may, in its sole discretion, decline to award payment of the scholarship in the case of a winner's failure to provide information in a timely fashion if requested by Teacher.org or the institution, or if the student's enrollment lapses for any reason.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD; ODDS: Your chances of winning the scholarship competition depend on the number of total entries, the quality of your answer, and how your answer is viewed by the judges from Teacher.org. ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES, AND ANY OTHER COSTS AND EXPENSES, ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECEIPT OR USE OF SCHOLARSHIP AWARD ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER. Awards are provided WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied, without limitation. ALL SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AWARDED SUBJECT TO THE TERMS, RESTRICTIONS, AND LIMITATIONS. Except as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, no substitution of the scholarship shall be offered and no transfer of the scholarship to a third party is permitted.
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