teacher_at_blackboard.jpgTeachers — often overworked, frequently underappreciated, sometimes demonized, usually meagerly compensated. But all of us have had teachers who helped us grow up and make sense of the world, and to find our place in it.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (but really all year long) we want educators to get the props (and resources) they deserve. Our friends at Community Classroom do that by giving teachers free stuff: standards-aligned lesson plans, fabulous independent film content (often using Independent Lens films), innovative games, discussion guides, and more.

Most of us have a teacher who stands out in our memory as the one who really sparked our passion for learning or for a specific subject, or encouraged us at a key point in our academic lives. Or perhaps you work with a teacher who inspires his or her students in an exceptional way.

community_classroom.jpgWe at Independent Lens, ITVS, and Community Classroom want to celebrate those life-changing teachers. Send us the name of that teacher in your life, along with the school, the year, the city or town, and what you remember about that teacher that made you nominate him or her as your Best. Teacher. Ever. Post your nominations in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or by email at classroom@itvs.org. (We encourage you to include a relevant photo or video if you have one.) You MUST include a way we can contact you, or you will not be eligible.

We will select the most inspirational nominations we receive and then let the world vote for our top winner. Our winner and runners up will receive one of our great prizes, including a Kindle from Amazon.com, autographed film posters, full-length films from our Community Classroom collection, and lots more. We will also profile the nominee as well as the student or colleague who submitted the nomination on our blogs!