Published: April 21, 2023
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Best Should Teach keynote to address supporting educators teaching after tragedies and traumas

The University of Colorado Boulder 2023 Best Should Teach Lecture and Awards Ceremony will celebrate excellence in education by recognizing outstanding CU Boulder faculty members, K-12 teachers and graduate student instructors with Best Should Teach Awards on May 1 at 6 p.m. in the University Memorial Center Glenn Miller Ballroom. 

Free and open to the public, the ceremony will feature award-winning author and University of Connecticut Associate Professor Alyssa Hadley Dunn, who will deliver the keynote talk, “Teaching on Days After: Educating for Equity in the Wake of Injustice.” 

Dunn is a highly regarded educational researcher, whose research focuses is on how to teach for justice and equity amidst school policies and reforms that negatively impact teachers’ working conditions and students’ learning conditions. Recently, her work has focused on what educators do in their classrooms the day after a tragic or traumatic event and how they attend to their students’ needs while teaching for equity and justice.

Her research 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.

Dunn’s talk will provide useful and thought-provoking guidance for educators and staff in across at all levels of education who navigate these very difficult and “all-too-frequent days after.”

The event will honor six CU Boulder faculty members, three K-12 teachers from the School of Education’s partner school districts and lead graduate teachers in the Graduate Teacher Program with Best Should Teach Gold and Silver Awards.

The 2023 Best Should Teach faculty award recipients include:

Teacher honorees from partner school districts include:

  • Tara Kawalec, STEM Launch K-8, Adams 12
  • Vera Moreno-Hamm, Columbine Elementary School, Boulder Valley
  • Emily Fiebig, Northridge Elementary, St. Vrain

The Best Should Teach awardees were selected for their embodiment of the beliefs, behaviors, and skills of exemplary teachers. The call for nominations for CU Boulder faculty also include nominations from students from all colleges and schools across campus.

The late, lifelong educator Lindley Stiles and his wife Marguerite Stiles established the Best Should Teach Initiative in 1996 to celebrate excellence in teaching, and Stiles’ inspiring motto is inscribed on the Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Building:

“To those who come, I leave the flame! Hold it as high as you can reach. If a better world is your aim, all must agree: The Best Should Teach.”