NPR has set out on a search for the 50 best teachers in the nation. I searched the story linked here and could not find the criteria being used to identify who was “best” or what “best” meant.


In this story, NPR invited the fourth-grade students of Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown at Sunset Elementary School in Miami to explain why their teacher is one of the 50 best in the nation.


They talk about her kindness and how she makes learning fun. She cares about every student. She comes up with fun ways for them to learn things, like a writing project based on American Idol, where the students are the judges.


Here are two typical comments:


Mrs. D-B has taught me so many things in the past year, and I can’t wait to learn more. Like a shoe polisher, she polished us until we shined like stars in the night sky. But of course, there is no such thing as being too bright!


I believe that Mrs. D-B teaches from her heart and not only from our books. She teaches us to be kind and she sets a great example for us. It’s incredible that one person can touch so many children’s hearts.


Not a word about test scores! Not a word about VAMs and SGPs.