The Committee on the Awards for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level invites nominations for the 2023 SCS Award for Excellence in Teaching. In order to give special and public expression to the Society’s commitment to honor and foster excellence in the teaching of Classics we welcome nominations of faculty teaching Classics in all sorts of departments, whether public or private, in large institutions or small.
Please note carefully the deadlines and procedures described below. One to three awards for excellence in the teaching of Classics will be given to college and university teachers from the United States and Canada. Thanks to a very generous gift to the Society’s Gatekeeper to Gateway Campaign for the Future of Classics from Daniel and Joanna Rose each winner will receive a certificate of award and a cash prize of $500. In addition, each winner’s institution will receive $200 to purchase educational resources selected by the winner. The awards will be presented at the Plenary Session of the Annual Meeting in January 2024.
The list of prior prize winners is available on this page.
You can find the complete eligibility and nomination guidelines below as well as guidance for nominators on indications of teaching excellence.
Eligibility: Any member of the SCS with a minimum of five years of teaching experience prior to nomination (not including graduate student TA assignments), in subject matter that is "classical" in the widest sense (i.e., Greek and Latin language, literature, culture, art, archaeology, history, reception, etc.) is eligible for this award. By action of the SCS Board of Directors, only individuals may be considered for these awards. No previous winner of this award is eligible to apply for it a second time. Nominees will be eligible for consideration for two consecutive years and unsuccessful nominees may be renominated five years after the initial nomination.
The deadline for the receipt of complete nomination packets is October 16, 2023, and should be sent via email to the SCS Executive Director, Helen Cullyer: email@example.com.
Nomination Packet: The nomination packet should consist of the following six components:
1) A letter of nomination. Nominators do not need to be SCS members; they may be administrators, chairpersons, departmental colleagues or faculty in other departments or institutions. Nomination letters should indicate how the candidate demonstrates excellence, using the indicators of excellence, listed below, as guidance. While a letter of self-nomination may be necessary in exceptional cases, a letter of nomination is preferred. It is desirable, but not required, for the nominator to have observed the candidate’s teaching. The letter should be no more than three pages in length, and should be provided in Times New Roman font, size 12. (Please note that nominators should also receive student questionnaires (see below) and forward those to SCS.)
2) The candidate's current curriculum vitae, no more than five pages, in Times New Roman font. If the curriculum vitae must be shortened, it should retain those items that best provide evidence of teaching excellence.
3) The candidate’s statement of teaching philosophy in which the candidate explains their achievements in terms of vision, strategies, and methods. The candidate may wish to refer to the “indicators of excellence” that appear below as they develop their statement. The statement should be no more than three pages in length, and should be provided in Times New Roman font, size 12.
(4) Two syllabi and two or three assignments associated with each syllabus that show the candidate’s strengths and breadth as a teacher. Candidates are welcome to annotate syllabi and assignments with brief explanations or information that might be provided orally in class. No page limit.
(5) Complete sets of student evaluations for two courses, preferably those for which syllabi are also submitted. Student comments, where available, are extremely helpful to the selection committee. It is also helpful for nominators to contextualize evaluations in terms of departmental or institutional norms.
(6) Questionnaires (student recommendations) completed by two to four current students or alumni within six years since graduation. Click here for questionnaire! Completed questionnaires should be sent to the NOMINATOR, not the candidate, and then forwarded to SCS by the nominator. In cases where letters have already been collected (as for a previous award), these may be submitted in lieu of one or more questionnaires. Please understand that these may put the candidate at a disadvantage if recommenders do not include some of the information requested in the questionnaire.
Questions about the competition may be directed to Executive Director Helen Cullyer.
Award winners are selected by the Teaching Excellence Awards Committee. Every effort will be made to inform winners in a timely manner to allow for travel arrangements to the Annual Meeting, although virtual participation will also be possible. For consideration for two additional years, the SCS will retain the full dossiers of candidates who do not receive an award in the year of nomination. In the two succeeding years, the nominators of these applicants need only submit basic updates for consideration by subsequent Committees.
Guidance for Nominators: Indicators of Excellence in Teaching:
A. Course Design/Planning
- The instructor’s courses have clear goals that are shared with students from the beginning of the course and that go beyond specific knowledge and skills to include higher order abilities, such as understanding how knowledge is created in the field, learning to make judgments, weigh evidence or challenge one’s own thinking and developing the ability to evaluate competing theories or models.
- The instructor’s courses have carefully chosen or created materials that are structured to align with course goals.
- The instructor’s courses have varied assessments that both measure student progress in attaining course goals and foster further development toward those goals. Evidence might include information from course syllabi and assignments, student evaluations, and student questionnaires.
B. Course Implementation/Delivery
- The instructor engages students and generates interest and even excitement about the material, presenting it in a clear and organized way.
- The instructor differentiates classroom instruction, activities, and assessments in order to accommodate the widest possible variety of learning needs.
- The instructor’s pedagogy is innovative in choice of teaching methods, materials, types of classroom activities, course assignments, and/or use of technology. The instructor is active in seeking opportunities to enrich students’ education.
- The instructor sets a standard within the classroom that makes it a safe space, where differences are honored and every voice is heard. The instructor demonstrates confidence in students’ ability to learn and offers effective support for students to take on personal challenges. Evidence might include information from course syllabi and assignments, student evaluations, the instructor’s teaching philosophy, or CV items such as field trips, service learning projects, instruction-related grants, or creative use of instructional technologies, social media or other available resources.
C. Course Reflection/Revision
- The instructor regularly reflects on the effectiveness of assignments/assessments/classroom activities/lectures and routinely revises to strengthen teaching practice, both during the course and between semesters.
- The instructor routinely solicits and responds to student feedback by restructuring course elements when need is indicated.
- The instructor engages in ongoing professional development for greater knowledge of both subject area(s) and pedagogy. The instructor incorporates new research into course content or contributes to research related to teaching. Evidence might include the instructor’s teaching philosophy, publications, collaborations, and participation in relevant mentoring programs, workshops, seminars, conferences, excavations, conventicula or other special programs, including receiving grants or other funding for these activities or for the educational enrichment of students.
D. Course Outcomes
- Students show significant improvement in developing the skills, attitudes, and content knowledge described in the syllabus under “Course Goals.” Where possible, for language courses, it is desirable to show student progress according to national standards, such as meeting or exceeding goals in the Classical Language Learning Standards. For culture courses assessments should demonstrate measurable student progress in the development of critical reading, thinking, and writing skills,
- The instructor creates interest in Classical languages and culture that extends beyond the class. Evidence might include students opting to take additional courses with the instructor, an increase in majors, student reflections on course evaluations, initial diagnostic/final exam results, performance on competitive exams, and portfolio evaluations.
E. DEI Effectiveness
- The instructor creates a learning environment where all students feel included such that all students can participate in every aspect of the course.
- The instructor demonstrates interest in achieving equity via course content, instruction, and / or assessment. E.g.: The instructor utilizes diverse authors, texts, or subjects; introduces difficult conversations; and expands the canon to include more voices.
- The instructor demonstrates respect for diversity in persons, ideas, and cultural perspectives in their instruction and behavior and in the content of the course. Evidence might include information from student evaluations, the candidate’s syllabi, recommenders’ questionnaires, or evidence of the instructor seeking mentoring from a campus or discipline-related DEI program to improve their teaching.