Monday, January 11, 2010

Five State Teachers are Spanish Teachers!

     Well, I just found out that I am not a finalist in the National Teacher of the Year competition. There will be no Rose Garden Speech or extra family members at the White House. There will also be no more stress in the coming months about upcoming interviews and I will be able to just enjoy being the New Jersey TOY! Hey, representing 200,000 of New Jersey's finest isn't a bad thing!
     I'm looking forward to my trip to Dallas, Texas in a couple of weeks. I'll be leaving on the 26th of January to meet the other State Teachers of the Year! People talk about it like the "class" of the STOYs. In other words, folks from every state form a kind of cohort which connects powerfully during the various TOY functions. Can't wait. I've never been to Dallas and I've never been in this position.
     I admit that I wondered what it would have been like to be a National Teacher of the Year. What would it have been like to represent this whole great nation? Wow! I wrote as hard as I could and was as honest as I am, but the country is seeking a different messenger. My congratulations to them!
     For now, I'm just getting used to the week. Today, for example, was interesting. I started the day at Northern Highlands with our school principal organizing the MLK Day of Service. Then, I visited my old school - Bergen Academies - to participate in a technology workshop about error correction with the smart board technology. Next, I visited the Hackensack YMCA to arrange student service and finally, I went to my snug little cubicle at One Bergen County Plaza, where my tiny dell computer and efficient printer were ready and waiting for me. It was an interesting and productive day.
      Where does this all lead? When my mom was in the last year of her life, she was studying in college. She was in her late sixties yet she and Dad had decided to embark on a college career. Mom studied science and history and English. Unfortunately, she died too young - at 67 - quite suddenly. Even though she didn't live long, she lived well and intensely. I believe that everything we do leads to everything we do. We aren't "getting anywhere" - so to speak. We are just getting to be more like who we want to be. My parents taught me that you have to give it all you've got till you can't do it anymore and so I will. Hats off to you, Mom and Dad, you taught me well!

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