Alan Austin AHS '69 , US and AP US History teacher, was honored as Kiwanis Teacher-of-the-Year 2023. The award was presented by AHS '55 alum Jeanette Workman and her committee and includes $800 cash prize. Mr. Austin will be honored at a banquet later this spring.
The Kiwanis Teacher-of-the-Year Award
This tradition of honoring some of Arlington’s most valuable assets—its teachers—began with the Kiwanis Club in 1962, 60 years ago. AISD Assistant Superintendent Woodrow Counts was President of this Kiwanis Club in 1962. Woodrow became Superintendent of AISD from 1979-1985. While he was President of our club, he made the suggestion that we start recognizing teachers in the system. In the beginning, this award was known simply as The Kiwanis Teacher-of-the-Year Award. Some years later the name was changed to The Kiwanis Woodrow Counts Teacher-of-the-Year Award to honor Mr. Counts.
The Kiwanis Club honors all of AISD teachers and especially all Teachers of the Year.
Mr. Austin says, "The process of gaining the trust of students takes commitment and effort. I do not believe a student will learn in my class until I have proved to them I care about them as a person. I greet my students at the door of my classroom with a smile and call them by name. Class starts with celebrating “Good Things” giving students a chance to talk about something good that has happened to them and allowing the class an opportunity to celebrate and know each other. With trust established, the students are ready to learn.
The most important lessons I teach are the ones about life. Sometimes I use “Coach Austin’s Life Lessons”. The other day I used: “Are you getting the work done or are you just moving the broom?” Taking broom and a dustpan, I began to move trash on the floor; however, I was not getting the trash into the dustpan. I explained I have the tools I need, but I am simply moving the broom around without completing the task. Next, I showed them a textbook, pen, computer, and assignment, explaining to them that sometimes they are doing the same thing with their own assignments. They have all the tools they need to complete the task, but they are not putting the necessary effort into their work. The result is they have something written on paper, but they have not learned much."