Having (my) Say...the finale!

Hello all,

So here is the finale to the Having (my) Say series. If you missed the first two parts go here and here.

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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!  :-)


Having (my) Say Part II

If you missed my Part I of "Having My Say", please visit here before reading the rest of this story.

So, picking up where I left off, after winning the Teacher of the Year (TOY) for my district, I then had to start the process for the regional TOY.  There was a new packet of information to complete.  Lots of essays, letters of recommendations, and a professional headshot.  Completing all of this was an intense process, and I will admit that my mother and I pulled an all-nighter in order to meet the deadline.  I hadn't pulled one of those in quite a while.  As for the professional headshot, I made a quick phone call to a friend down the road who worked as a photographer in his former life. Thankfully, he had all of his equipment and could get me a picture to submit.

Prior to the regional interviews, I had time to prep with a former teacher.  We discussed issues in education, interview techniques, and shared lots of teacher stories.  Then she gave me her favorite teacher pin that she had had for her career.  So sweet!

On the day of the interview, back in October, I dressed according to their specifications, and wore a new hairstyle.  I felt calm right before the interviews and I felt good about my answers.

The next day the selection committee interviewed the other half of the interviewees.  There were 12 of us (from 12 different counties) in all for my region.  The committee would select the 2 finalists.

I was expecting to hear back in November to see if I made the first cut, but two days after the interview, I received a phone call at work to let me know that I made the finals!

While I was teaching, I was surprised by a guest from the district office and the admin at my school.  They came in bringing balloons and a new bouquet of flowers.  It really caught me off guard because I had just found out myself only about an hour before hand.

Because of making the finals, the selection committee would visit my school for an entire day, observe a few of my classes, interview administrators, teachers, students, parents, and me - yes, another interview.  That day was on yesterday.  I felt that same sense of calm that I felt before the previous interviews.  I will say that I had a blast today!  No matter what happens, I can't think of anything I would have changed, and I know I did my best.

Now, we just wait.  I think the deadline is January.  :-)

Until then,

Home Office Reveal

It's been a long time coming, but finally my home office project is complete!  What started out as a "den of sin" (lol) has turned into a neatly organized, and deeply purged, space.  Even though I normally plan out the decor of a space before I get started, for this space, I literally started with a paint color and everything else just fell into place.


But seriously, this was the real before.  YIKES!!!!
(too shameful to even upsize the photo - lol)


I hope you enjoyed this tour!