Marvin Maurer Award

The Marvin Maurer Award recognizes outstanding educators who make a significant difference in children’s lives – a human difference. It recognizes individuals who embody Marvin Maurer’s belief that students’ feelings matter; whose teaching connects the personal to the academic, making learning real; who are committed to using the power of emotions in their own lives and to being emotionally intelligent role models; and who work with others to create a more caring and compassionate school community and world.

Marvin Maurer

Marvin Maurer inspired many as an innovative educator who recognized the power of emotion in learning. He was genuinely interested in how his students were feeling. As a gifted and forward-thinking 6th grade social studies teacher in the 1970s, he noticed students seemed uninterested in history. He began developing a “feeling words curriculum” when he discovered students were more motivated to learn when they could connect personally with the emotions of the characters and situations in the textbooks.

My passion for studying emotions began with our conversations about different feelings; it also was the basis for our initial middle school curriculum. Marvin inspired many as an innovative educator who recognized the power of emotion in learning. He was genuinely interested in how we were feeling, asked me how I was feeling, and then waited patiently for every detail in our responses.

I feel incredibly blessed that with all that happened during my childhood, I was able to thrive and achieve many dreams (with more to come!). But I was blessed with many supports — including the divine intervention of my Uncle Marvin.

Nomination Timeline

  • The nomination deadline was October 31, 2023

  • Nominators (you) will be informed of the award status by January 31, 2024

  • Marvin Maurer Award recipients will receive a complementary ticket to and be featured at the 2024 RULER Implementation Conference in New Haven, CT

Selection Criteria

Implementation Leadership and Excellence

  • Consistently generates new ideas to sustain RULER implementation at their school
  • Engages the entire school community in RULER-related initiatives, activities, and events (includes growing the RULER Implementation team and involving families)
  • Actively participates in the larger SEL community through continuing education, thought leadership, and/or advocacy
  • Integrates SEL into long-term strategic planning within their school/district
  • Assists other schools/districts in the adoption and implementation of RULER. This can include offering presentations to other schools, districts, networks or hosting other schools or districts their school.
  • Has been implementing RULER for 5 or more years (does not need to be at the same school) 

Commitment to the Emotions Matter Mindset

  • Cultivates a school or classroom environment where students' emotions matter
  • Utilizes a teaching style that connects the personal and academic
  • Serves as an emotionally intelligent role model to the entire school community (colleagues, students, and families)
  • Works with others to create a caring and compassionate school community and world