Four years ago I didn't even KNOW there was such a thing as the Teacher of the Year award. Now, I have been awarded this honor by a "jury of her peers." Five essays and one interview panel later, I'm still in shock that it's actually ME!
Through the past four years at Windsor Locks, I've been surrounded by a core group of supportive teachers on my teams and in my department and even in other grades, departments, and buildings who have encouraged me, made me smile when I've had a bad day, and reminded me why I am doing this job.
Teaching is NOT easy. To do teach effectively, you have to be relentless at times about teaching to the standards, expecting quality, and meeting the needs of diverse classes. But you don't teach alone - along the way, so many people have been there for me to provide advice, resources, and moral support.
I want to thank a few people (and I'll miss a ton, I'm sure!) who have influenced me:
MaryKay, you taught me that a good teacher always follows through on what she assesses the students need. You can't go forward until you have gone back and corrected the misunderstandings students have about concepts.
Chris, you taught me (and I'm still trying to learn this one) that you CAN have a relationship with even the most difficult students, and still retain composure and be firm.
Jen, you taught me that we can believe in how we teach, even in the face of opposition - because it works!
Kelly, you taught me to just laugh sometimes - because it's not worth stressing about it too long (again, still learning this one).
Mike, you taught me to continue in the face of "adversity"... that it's NOT crazy to stay up till 2 am to get schoolwork done - if it needs to get done, do it! (but I'll never beat you to school!)
...there are so many others who've helped me work hard, but relax a little, look at the data, but then look on the bright side (not my strong point), think about the students, but then also take a little "me" time to refresh...
Thank you... I hope I continue learning lessons from all of you! Here's to many more years of friendship and camaraderie together!