Jaime Vazquez

Meet the runners up in our inspiring teacher contest!

Blog Post created by Jaime Vazquez on May 14, 2019

Update: You can check out all of the contest winners on Teach.Learn.Grow and other entrants here.


Hello again! Thank you to everyone who submitted entries in our Teacher Appreciation contest! We received so many incredible nominations—it’s a powerful thing to see so many teachers finding innovative new ways to get their kids excited about growth. In fact, we got so many great nominations that we want to share them with the whole community.


Each week, we’ll be posting a few entrants so we can celebrate how these educators are getting creative about keeping their students engaged. So without further ado, let’s get started!


Missi Claycomb, a high school teacher at Bridge Builder Academy in Richardson, Texas, took an approach that speaks to the internet generation: cats. Here’s how her colleague Jessica Bialowas explained it to us.


Like many schools, we give our students pencils with positive sayings on them during MAP Growth testing. Our high school students aren't impressed with this as a motivator, so Missi came up with a way to entice them. She attached spoons with a picture of a cat, tiny marshmallows, and a tiny target—giving the high school kids “cat-apults”! They make the students smile and relax before heading into testing. I really like this creative idea!




Kim Kellum, a secondary teacher at Bethany Christian School, found an incentive her students are really into: movie tickets.


We are using our profits from the snack program to buy movie passes for junior high students who score at least two points above the winter test score in all subjects. For high school, we told them if they met their grade-level targets in each subject, they would also get a movie pass.


Check back next week for more!