Frequently Asked Questions

Rodel Teacher Initiative

How are Exemplary Teachers identified?

The selection process for Rodel Exemplary Teachers occurs in these steps:

  1. Beginning in January of each year, researchers at Rodel review the last two years of classroom-level student achievement for teachers in targeted schools. Teachers are reviewed based on their membership in schools of 70 to 80 percent, 80 to 90 percent, and 90 to 100 percent Free or Reduced-price Lunch Program populations. Within each group, researchers identify schools, grade levels, and classrooms whose levels of student achievement are consistently well above norms. This screening typically results in several hundred potential candidates.
  2. The principals of each of these potential candidates are sent a nomination package from Rodel. They are congratulated for their teachers achieving amazing results with students, but are not told which teachers Rodel has identified as candidates. Principals are then asked to nominate their very best teachers – the ones they wish they could clone – and send additional data demonstrating successful student achievement gains.
  3. Rodel researchers review the principals’ nominations, look for matches, and review additional data sent by principals and released by the Arizona Department of Education.
  4. Based on three years of achievement records and principals’ nomination materials, Rodel researchers narrow the field to about 50 semifinalists in early August. Letters are sent to congratulate principals and semifinalists, and to arrange interviews and classroom observations to look for effective teaching methods and mentorship capability.
  5. After the interviews and observations, finalists and winners of the Rodel Exemplary Teacher award are named in November. Winners and finalists are announced online and through local media partnerships.

What are the responsibilities of Exemplary Teachers?

Exemplary Teachers will be recognized at their school in a ceremony created by each individual school and supported by the Rodel team and partners. In addition, Rodel Exemplary Teachers may be invited to attend or participate in events engaging the education community. They must agree to allow their professional information and images to be released by Rodel and shared with media partners.

Exemplary Teachers attend an orientation followed by introductory seminars each semester in order to begin the process of building the mentor-mentee relationship with their Rodel Promising Student Teachers.

Each Exemplary Teacher must agree to mentor several Promising Student Teachers. They are expected to follow mentor requirements as communicated to each semifinalistand clarified in the Agreement they sign with Rodel.

What are the benefits of being an Exemplary Teacher?

An Exemplary Teacher has the unique opportunity of “paying it forward” by training the next generation of effective teachers. They do so with the support and guidance of Rodel. They have the opportunity to work alongside the Rodel staff as they hone their mentorship skills, which can have a significant positive impact on the teachers they work with on their campus. The Exemplary Teacher brings positive recognition to their classroom, school and district. The Exemplary Teacher also receives a financial award as a part of their honor.