Honored is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and elevating great teachers. By celebrating the extraordinary impact teachers have on the lives of their students, Honored’s initiatives help to engage, inspire, and retain great teachers across the country.
Through two distinct programs, Honored National and Honored Schools, Honored’s innovative platform empowers students and families to provide teachers with meaningful affirmation at a time when teacher burnout and attrition are at crisis levels. These public tributes provide the individualized recognition and feedback that research shows keeps teachers in the classroom and inspired to advance in their craft.
The criteria for being an Honoree is simple:
Each teacher we honor has made an important impact—either personal, academic, or inspirational—on a student’s life.
Our Honorees teach in rural, suburban, and urban areas across the country.
Our Honorees teach any and all subjects at public, public charter, and private schools.
Nominations are made by students, and only students, because we value students’ voices and we believe that they can provide the truest testimonials to a teacher’s impact. Every nominee receives a congratulatory “You’ve Been Honored” email. This is our way of honoring every teacher who has been nominated.
How do we recognize and reward our Honorees?
We widely share the stories of the profound impact these teachers have on their students. The world-class writers with whom we partner are uniquely able to capture the poignancy of these stories. In addition to public recognition, each Honoree receives a much-deserved $5,000 award and are empowered to help other teachers with a $1,000 gift card to our partner, DonorsChoose.org.
How Does Honored Help Elevate All Teachers?
Provide A Platform For Gratitude
We select twelve Honorees a year, but because all nominations are shared with teachers, Honored provides a platform for any student to recognize a great teacher. Our social media campaigns and website testimonials offer other creative forums encouraging former students to thank their teachers.
Change The Conversation
To counteract the prevailing media coverage—too often focused on politics and controversy—we widely share universally entertaining and relatable stories that illuminate the meaningful work happening in classrooms every day. Our strategic outreach campaigns encourage key audiences to change how they talk about teaching.
Engage Esteemed Supporters
Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and bestselling authors, global celebrities, sports heroes, giants of industry, nonprofit pioneers, and influential politicians; all coming together in one place to honor teachers, to credit the role teachers played in their success, and to bring their talent and prestige to the profession of teaching.
Why the Teacher-Student Relationship Matters
A consistent and supportive connection with a trusted teacher can build beneficial oxytocin, reduce stress-induced cortisol, and optimize the brain’s ability to learn, retain, and use new information.
Cortisol and Oxytocin
Stress causes cortisol, the “stress hormone,” to flood the brain. Oxytocin, the hormone associated with love and bonding, is the most effective way to counteract the effects of cortisol. Research has shown that supportive, buffering relationships with trusted teachers can prevent and even reverse the effects of stress on the brain.
The hippocampus, which controls memory and learning, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of cortisol, and while under stress has trouble converting working memory into long-term storage of information—which is critical to academic success.
Cortisol can alter both the function and physical structure of the prefrontal cortex, which controls executive function and self-regulation—both of which are critical to academic and personal success.
Cortisol can alter both the function and physical structure of the amygdala, which helps regulate emotions—critical to academic and personal success.
The Result - 1
High school students who said they had at least one teacher who made them feel excited about the future were 4.4 times more likely to be involved in and enthusiastic about school than those who did not. These students were also 1.9 times more likely to be thriving in their lives than those who didn't have a teacher who excited them about the future.
The Result - 2
Positive and close teacher-student relationships have been found to have significant academic and social benefits at every stage of school.
Source: Bergin C, Bergin D. Attachment in the classroom. Educ Psychol Rev. 2009
Why Recognizing Teachers Matters
Recognition is a powerful way to keep exceptional teachers engaged and fulfilled and prevent attrition...yet teachers are not adequately recognized.
Exceptional teachers who receive private and public recognition plan to keep teaching at their schools for nearly twice as long.
of teachers say they have not recently received recognition.
Why Changing the Perception Matters
Our mission is to create a culture in which teaching is accorded the level of prestige commensurate with its impact and importance. Influencing the portrayal of teachers in all forms of media is an important part of the strategy. We believe that changing the perception of teaching will not only keep great teachers in the classroom; it will also help attract a new generation of future teachers to the profession.
An international study that assessed the social status and occupational esteem of teachers found that in the United States, teaching as a profession is much less highly regarded than it is in many other countries.
of teachers say the negative portrayal of teachers in the media is a major source of workplace stress.
of teachers agree that they are not treated with respect by the media.
Honored does more than give much-deserved recognition to individual teachers; we elevate ALL teachers, current and future.