Achieving the mission depends on three primary strategies:
Each year GAFNM honors seven teachers based on their excellence in the classroom and their commitment to the teaching profession. Recognition alternates among high school, middle school, and elementary school teachers in a three-year cycle. Teachers of Distinction are also recognized through this comprehensive process that includes a full-day evaluation visit to the school of each teacher at the finalist level.
As members of a professional learning community of master teachers, Golden Apple Fellows gather regularly, sharing strategies that contribute to their continued classroom excellence and that build their capacity to mentor colleagues. Golden Apple also provides professional development for other teachers and schools, drawing on the expertise of Fellows to strengthen the classroom practices of teachers around New Mexico. GAFNM offers multiple teacher trainings (Elementary Math Institutes have served more than 30 Albuquerque-area teachers since 2014) and the most innovative annual teacher's conference offered in New Mexico. Beginning in 2013, GAFNM created one of the most comprehensive web-based communities for teacher-led innovation and educational improvement in the state.
Each recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching becomes a lifetime member of the Golden Apple Academy. This group of master educators convenes regularly to consult on pressing issues around teaching and learning. The Academy leads conversation among teachers, parents, business leaders and governmental decision makers from a neutral, classroom-focused perspective. The outcomes of these conversations will be a resource for meaningful education policy improvement well into the future. GAFNM also engages community through multiple classroom grant programs, including the Wells Fargo Teacher Partner Program, the Intel STEM Grant Program, and most recently the Aldo Leopold Writing Contest.