Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Charlie Award

Whether you are a new psychology teacher or a seasoned veteran - the name "Charlie Blair-Broeker" is synonymous with high school psychology and the deadline to apply for the coveted APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Awards is coming up soon (February 15th, 2017). The award features a cash prize of $500, a Worth Publishers credit of $500, and a free 2018 TOPSS membership.

The award was named so in 2015 after Blair-Broeker retired from Cedar Falls High School (Iowa) where Blair-Broeker taught psychology since 1978. Charlie's accomplishments are long and large - including being an AP reader, table leader, rubric master, and Question Leader, a College Board consultant, a past TOPSS chair, an NCSS presenter at various conferences, a winner of many teaching awards, and an all around good-guy.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, hat and indoor
Charlie in retirement. 

I caught up with Charlie, on the eve of the awards deadline and post tropical vacation, to ask him a few questions about his teaching, his retirement, and his legacy.

AR: If you had to sum up your career in six words, what would you say?
CBB: I had fun almost every day.

AR: What have you been doing in your retirement?
CBB: Well, I still teach a little at the community college and I'm still doing the AP reading and summer institutes. The biggest difference [between working and retirement] is the freedom to travel, read, sleep in, and go to the store when its not busy.

AR: How did it feel to have the APA TOPSS teaching award named after you?
CBB: The teaching award was a total surprise. I felt awkwardness and appreciation in equal parts.
It is enormously gratifying that people who know me well think so much of my efforts, but I know many excellent teachers have not had the recognition that I have been so fortunate to receive.

AR: What does it take to be a good teacher?
CBB: It would be nice if there was a single trait that made a good teacher, but I don't think there is. Among the most important are knowledge of content, passion for both subject matter and the educational process, the ability to motivate and inspire students, a sense of humor, and tolerance for bureaucratic BS.

And that, people, is why we all love Charlie. 👊

If you're a great psychology teacher, or know one, consider nominating them or apply for this award.

----Posted by Amy Ramponi


mariavita said...

Thanks Amy & Charlie!

bryan denton said...

Wow we need more teachers like him!

Brian LeCloux said...

Another thing I learned from CBB: how to respond when the demo/experiment/class activity doesn't turn out as expected.