The Best Should Teach Initiative strives to acknowledge excellence in teaching and academic leadership. The initiative is managed by the Graduate Teacher Program in coordination with the School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Lindley and Marguerite Stiles established the initiative in 1996 to promulgate the message that “The Best Should Teach.”
A Best Should Teach sculpture designed by John Haertling which represents the flame of enlightenment is installed at the School of Education on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus as a visual reminder of the initiative and of the importance of teaching.
Each year at the Best Should Teach event, faculty from the Boulder campus who exemplify exceptional teaching, educational leadership, and service receive the Best Should Teach Gold Award. Additionally, graduate students who demonstrate outstanding teaching, educational leadership, and service receive the Best Should Teach Silver Award.
The School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder supports the Best Should Teach Initiative by recognizing an outstanding undergraduate in Education each year. The student receives a Best Should Teach Flame of Enlightenment pin and plaque at graduation. At the Best Should Teach should Teach Ira & Ineva Baldwin Lecture each year, the School of Education also awards gold Best Should Teach pins to several teachers from the local public schools.
The Gold Best Should Teach Award recognizes faculty who represent excellence in all aspects of university work. To receive the Best Should Teach Award, they must have 1) already received one or multiple teaching awards, and have consistently high FCQ scores, 2) demonstrated educational leadership through contributions to improving college teaching on the Boulder campus, or through work to improve teaching in primary and secondary education, and 3) contributed their time to programs that support the improvement of teaching at all levels, for example, the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program, The Presidential Scholars Program, the Graduate Teacher Program, Faculty Affairs, LEAP, discipline-based educational research, or other appropriate venues.
The Best Should Teach Committee (made up of current organizers and/or former award winners) selects up to four candidates each year. Awardees receive a certificate signed by the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Dean of the School of Education.