UPDATE: NOV. 21, 2014: Facing History and Ourselves announced the winner today of the Facing History Together Teacher Recognition Contest. While our guy, Manchester native Andy Bigelow, did not win the $5,000 classroom grant, he was among the top five finalists from nominees of the world’s top teachers, and we couldn’t be prouder.
Congratulations to winner Hayden Frederick-Clarke, a math teacher at Charlestown High School in Massachusetts who is making a difference every day in the lives of students.
To read his story, click here.
UPDATE: NOV. 13, 2014: With just four days left to vote, you have helped Manchester native Andy Bigelow make the Top 5 in the Facing History Together Teacher Recognition Challenge:
Let’s not stop there! Make sure you vote once every 24 hours and also make sure you share this link on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. What a wonderful honor for Bigelow, and for his hometown! HERE’S THE LINK! VOTE NOW!
MANCHESTER, NH – Let’s put the power of social media to the test and help Manchester native Andy Bigelow win the 2014 Facing History Together Teacher Recognition Contest.
Bigelow, now teaching in Chicago, is one of 20 finalists for the $5,000 classroom grant. He was nominated by former student Lydia Dana, who had Bigelow as a teacher at Needham High School in Mass.
In her nomination entry Lydia wrote of Bigelow:
“I took social studies with Andrew Bigelow for one year of high school and was in his homeroom for all four. Through his respectful manner, energetic yet even tone, and unwavering commitment to bringing a social justice lens to our studies, Mr. Bigelow had a profound impact on my education. Despite being a walking, talking, breathing human for 15 years prior, it seems it wasn’t until Mr. Bigelow’s class that I became conscious. I began to recognize the magnitude of being human and a participant in society. I began to consider my choices and actions and their potential impact on humanity. Andrew Bigelow embodies the mission of Facing History – indeed, on humanitarianism – in his work with students. As a current graduate student of race and gender I am pleased to nominate Mr. Bigelow for the 2014 Facing History Together Teacher Recognition Contest, and attribute to him any success I have in addressing oppression and contributing to liberation in the years to come.”
Bigelow, 47, recently interviewed by the Windy City Times, moved to Chicago in 2006.
“I love teaching the value of history and cultural literacy,” said Bigelow. “I also love those moments when you help a student who is struggling through a learning disability, [or] a challenging home life, or even teaching kids basic interpersonal skills to help them in all arenas. No one is allowed in my room unless they say, ‘Hello.’ We talk about posture, eye contact, and saying please and thank you. No joke, we all know that ‘You can’t get a second chance at a first impression’ and so I always enjoy providing guidance on behavior, citizenship, and the humanities.”
Bigelow lives in Lincoln Park with his husband Brian Lighty. They have two sons: Malik, 19; and Fernelis, 17.
Voting closes Nov. 17. Winner will be announced Nov. 21.
About the international competition, from the facinghistory.org site:Facing History and Ourselves celebrates the amazing educators who go above and beyond the call of duty— shaping responsible global citizens and confronting injustice and hatred head on. The Facing History Together Teacher Recognition Contest is a chance for the community to honor those outstanding educators who have made an impact on their lives. Who inspired you to stand up and speak out against hatred and injustice? Who taught you to think differently about the world we live in and your role in it? Nominated educators are eligible for a classroom grant of $5,000. Cast your vote to select the winner.