[UPDATE ON 2/2008: Honoring.com reportst that Who’s Who Among American Teachers has ceased publication, along with the National Deans List and other books of this sort. See www.honoring.com for details].
Along with about 100,000 other teachers out there, I received a letter from Who’s Who Among American Teachers(r), informing me that I have been nominated “by a student who recommended [me] because [I] made a difference in his or her life” for inclusion in their Who’s Who book, joining “a select 5% of our nation’s teachers.”
While it’s quite nice to be recognized by a former student, I’m feeling rather cynical about this, and did a little snooping online to find out more. A discussion of this matter is going on at A to Z Teacher Stuff Forum that sheds light on how others feel about being nominated. And it seems there are a LOT of others. Most seem to suggest it’s something of a ponzi scheme, because the student who nominates a teacher has to have also appeared in a similar book, like the National Dean’s List(R). They don’t make you buy a copy of the book ($100) to get listed in it, but they still try to prey on recipient’s pride in this way to turn a profit. It seems naive to think of this as a true honor, despite the student nominator’s kind intent. As one blogger posted on the A to Z forum, playing along with the Who’s Who request “tells a superintendent that you are naive, inexperienced, and provincial…If you want to see your name in print, write a book.”
Still: When I searched google on the topic, a number of press releases from campuses and schools turned up, with smiling teachers receiving plaques from their superintendents and presidents. The Who’s Who organization belongs to several reputable organizations, like the American Library Association and others. And the Who’s Who Among American Teachers(r) site itself seems innocent enough, and even offers some interesting research on attitudes and opinions about academic issues worth burrowing around in.
Even so, I’m very unlikely to participate. Anyone else out there have experience with this?
NOTE: DISCUSSION OF THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN CLOSED!
Because my blog software blocks comments after so many months and requires arduous management for adding new ones, I have closed discussion on this popular topic. Although this posting is very popular, I do not publish more than 50 comments on any one given entry, and am closing this one down. If you do post a comment, I’m sorry to report that it will be deleted.
Congratulations again to all nominees; regardless of your stance on this matter, there are a LOT of great teachers out there who clearly deserve awards, if not a medal.
[UPDATE ON 2/2008: Honoring.com reports that Who’s Who Among American Teachers has ceased publication, along with the National Deans List and other books of this sort. See www.honoring.com for details].
[COMMENTS ARE CLOSED ON THIS TOPIC]