Lessons from the Heart: 2011 State Teachers of the Year Discuss Their Own Favorite Teachers

What does it take to inspire an award-winning teacher?

Not long ago, the 2011 State Teachers of the Year visited the Department of Education, and we asked them to talk about the teachers who had the greatest influence on them. Some praised colleagues and mentors, and others remembered inspiring teachers from their own days as students.  Their tributes were varied and poignant:  “She treated all of us as though we were her special children.”  “She made me love every piece of literature that at the time I absolutely hated.”  “He thinks the best of his colleagues, and so we want to live up to his expectations and prove that he’s not wrong.”  Now at the very top of their profession, the 2011 State Teachers of the Year surely took lessons like these to heart.

Click here to watch a video compilation of the State Teachers of the Year thanking their favorite teachers.

Click here
to watch a video about the 2011 State Teachers of the Year visit to the U.S. Department of Education.


  1. Trusting to make the right decisions can be tough. It can take many people a long time to build a strong moral system. Its not the sort of thing that simply just happens.

  2. These videos and this blog completely support a quote that I am very fond of regarding our teaching profession. Mr. Henry Adams said, “Teachers affect eternity; they never know where their influence stops.”

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