The awards recognize teachers who:
- use innovative teaching methods, design creative programs and develop exciting learning experiences for Ontario students;
- make a difference in students' lives by engaging them in the process of learning and create enthusiasm for learning by raising their sights, broadening their horizons and enhancing their learning potential;
- demonstrate understanding and integration of community diversity into classroom practices;
- encourage the sharing of community and individual resources in the schools of our province; and
- demonstrate a personal commitment to personal lifelong learning.
In addition, a nominee for beginning teacher should exhibit a willingness to learn and develop, as well as to seek advice from colleagues and act upon it.