Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teacher of the year...kind of like getting a hole-in-one!

I was recently selected to be my school's teacher of the year. And though I will make an honest effort to fully articulate and capture exactly what this means to me, I fear my words won't do my real feelings any justice. I suppose the best way to attempt this explanation would be by making an analogy.

My father, who is an awesome dad by the way, recently got a hole-in-one on a par three at a golf course where he has played for years. He was so excited! When we talked about it, we discussed how a hole-in-one is quite unique, and that most golfers will go an entire lifetime without ever experiencing one! Nonetheless, getting a hole-in-one is not impossible! I feel the same would hold true with being teacher of the year. It isn't impossible, yet many people will never experience it in their lifetime. Other professions don't really have this kind of recognition for their employees. I'm so proud to be the representative for all of the teachers at my school! I guess that's what I believe the role of teacher of the year is. I'm not the best teacher in the school; I'm just a strong representative for all the others.

How can I justify being selected for this great honor? (For myself, not for others) When I reflect back on my previous eleven years of teaching, I can honestly say I have enjoyed each and every moment. It may surprise many when I say there hasn't been a Monday when I didn't want to report to work. Sure, I've been tired and didn't necessarily want to get out of bed, but I've never dreaded coming in. Earlier in my career, more experienced teachers (old and washed up - just kidding) assured me that I would eventually get over my feelings of joy as I progressed in my career. Luckily, I've proven them wrong. Now, I do have a slight advantage. I'm single, have no children, no pets, and only have a plant to take care of at home, but I am involved in many things such as: teaching at my church, being a board member at a local theatre, performing improv at a local theatre, volunteering to do extra things at school, and other miscellaneous things. Most of my time does revolve around teaching in some way!

I'm sharing all of this with you because it supports my dedication to the profession. I hope to eventually teach teachers, and I really believe teaching is a beautiful mission in life.

I've had such joy in my heart knowing my peers have recognized my efforts, and this new title brings with it a drive to be better. Being teacher of the year is probably the second greatest honor I have ever experienced. The first one will always be the opportunity to change lives as a teacher.

So to close, I'll continue with the hole-in-one analogy by thanking all of the people who have helped me perfect my swing (teaching). Though I may never hit a hole-in-one again, I plan on swinging for the flag everytime. There's nothing wrong with even par!

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