So here is the finale to the Having (my) Say series. If you missed the first two parts go here and here.
At the end of the last part, I mentioned that I did have my final interview and site visit from the Teacher of the Year selection committee for the regional rounds.
I was told that it might be January before I found out anything, but the selection was able to be announced right before our holiday break began. In the end, the committee chose the other candidate to represent my region, so my TOY process has come to an end.
Initially I was a little sad about it, plus it didn't help that I was in the bed sick on the day I found out and I knew that I would have to go to a school board meeting that evening to receive an award for being a finalist. But, I knew that I had done my best and that was comforting. And although I wasn't initially thinking of it this way, one of the judges reminded me that making the finals meant that I was in the top 16 of our state. It's all in how you look at it.
I have learned a lot about myself during this process. It was a totally validating experience to say the least. Not often in your career do you have the opportunity to know how others feel about you as a colleague, or as their teacher, or as a teacher of their child. In this process I was able to find out how valued I am in my workplace. I am thankful for all the support that I have received throughout the process and I believe that even making it this far will be the beginning of new and wonderful things to come.
Now, unless there are future surprises that I don't know about, I can focus on my job, my graduate studies, and on getting better. Yes, right after all of the wonderful things came to a close, I have been stricken with the cold of my life. Three weeks and still trying to recover...
Thank you all for being there on this journey with me!
p.s. I got two A's in my classes this semester. Stoked! :-)