For over 20 years, the Best Should Teach awards ceremony has included a keynote presentation from a distinguished invited educator. 


Join us in the UMC Glenn Miller Ballrooms on May 1, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. for the Best Should Teach Lecture and Awards Ceremony followed by Keynote Alyssa Hadley DunnDirector of Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, NEAG School of Education, University of Connecticut

Dr. Dunn, will deliver her talk on responding to violence in schools, “What to do when you don’t know what to do: Teaching for equity and justice on days after."

What do educators do in their classrooms the day after a tragic or traumatic event? How do they attend to their students’ needs while teaching for equity and justice? Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Director of Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education, has made this a focus of her work as a teacher and a scholar. In her book Teaching on Days After: Educating for Equity in the Wake of Injustice, Dunn examines examples of days after that teachers remember, including 9/11, elections, natural disasters, gun violence, police brutality, social uprisings, Supreme Court decisions, immigration policies, and more. She also shares examples of days after that K–12 and college-aged students remember, including what their teachers did and didn’t do and how they experienced these moments. Her talk will highlight equity and justice-focused pedagogical approaches that can be used to support current classroom teachers and to help preservice teachers think ahead to their future classrooms. Dunn’s talk will provide useful and thought-provoking guidance for educators and educational personnel in a variety of educational contexts at all levels who navigate these very difficult and all-too-frequent days after.

Allyssa dunn headshotDr. Alyssa Hadley Dunn is the Director of Teacher Education for the Neag School of Education and an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction. A former high school English teacher, Dr. Dunn now focuses her teaching, research, and service on urban education for social and racial justice. She studies how to best prepare and support teachers to work in urban schools and how to teach for justice and equity amidst school policies and reforms that negatively impact teachers’ working conditions and students’ learning conditions. Prior to coming to UConn, she was an Associate Professor at Michigan State University and an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University. She is the author of three award-winning books: Teaching on Days After: Educating for Equity in the Wake of Injustice (Teachers College Press, 2021); Teachers Without Borders?: The Hidden Consequences of International Teachers in U.S. Schools (Teachers College Press, 2013); and Urban Teaching in America (Sage Publications, 2011) . She has published dozens of articles in journals such as the American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, Urban Education, and Teaching and Teacher Education. A committed public scholar, she has been a contributor to the Huffington Post and National Public Radio. Among other awards, Dr. Dunn is the winner of the Critical Educators for Social Justice Revolutionary Mentor Award from the American Educational Research Association and Michigan State University’s Teacher-Scholar of the Year Award.

This Best Should Teach awards ceremony included 2020 and 2021 awardees. The ceremony was invitation only to minimize contact. Awardees took turns speaking at the event as they received their awards. There was no guest speaker for this event.   

In 2020, the Best Should Teach awards ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
Bettina L. Love, Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice, the University of Georgia

Habits of the Mind: Global Approaches to Teaching and Learning
Michael Puett, Professor of Chinese History and Anthropology, Harvard University 

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Classroom
Thomas Cech, Nobel Laureate, Distinguished Professor, and Director of CU's BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado Boulder

Using the Tools of Critical Race Theory and Racial Microaggressions to Examine Everyday Racism in and out of the Classroom 
Daniel Solórzano, Professor of Social Science & Comparative Education, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles 

The Republic of Imagination: Humanities & the Future of Democracies 
Azar Nafisi, Professor of English, Johns Hopkins University 

The Best Should Research Teaching: Impacts of Physics Education Research 
Steven Pollock, Professor, Physics; Carnegie Professor of the Year 

One Big Sandbox
Elisa Villanueva Beard, Co-CEO, Teach for America 

“Getting Serious” About Education: Cultivating Culturally Relevant Teachers for New Century Students 
Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

The Best Should Teach Legacy 
Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor, University of Colorado Boulder 

Science and the World’s Future 
Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief, Science magazine 

The Pedagogical Imagination: Teaching toward Possibility 
Kris Gutiérrez, Provost’s Chair, School of Education 

Why the Best Should Teach: Intellectuals and Public Responsibility 
Donna Dickenson, Emeritus Professor, Medical Ethics and Humanities, University of London 

Save the World on Your Own Time 
Stanley Fish, Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law, College of Law, Florida International University 

The Role of Teaching in Countering Social Inequality 
Pedro Noguera, Professor, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University & Director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education 

Education in the 21st Century: Using the Tools of Science to Teach Science (and a Lot of Other Subjects) 
Carl Weiman, Professor, Physics 

The Less Teaching, the More Learning, and Other Lessons from the Radical Past 
Martin Bickman, Professor, English, CU-Boulder 

Twins Separated at Birth: the Reunion of the Sciences and the Humanities 
Patricia Limerick, Professor, History & Environmental Studies and Chair of the Board & Faculty Director for the Center of the American West 

A New Faculty for the New American Century: Challenges and Opportunities 
Orlando Taylor, Dean of the Graduate School, Howard University 

Teaching Science in the 21st Century 
Margaret Murnane, Professor, Physics 

Teaching Because Democracy Matters 
Walter Parker, University of Washington 

Where Love & Need Are One: A New Day for Teaching 
Eugene Rice, Director for the Forum on Faculty Roles & Rewards, American Association for Higher Education