Saturday, May 3, 2014

Big Apple Teacher Awards

Teaching is a quiet profession.

It's an accumulation of days.

It's showing up.

It's the daily opportunity to facilitate the building of knowledge through exploration and perseverance.

It's the joyful interaction and exchange of ideas with students when the class is engaged in meaningful learning.  The moments when I think there is no where else on earth I would rather be and nothing else I would rather be doing.  Those times are amazing.

The other side of that is dealing with the administrative duties and excessive paperwork that takes us away from the students.  All of the measures created to hold us "accountable" because otherwise we'd be doing...whatever it is untrusting, micromanaging administrators imagine.

Teachers quietly revel in the magical moments and patiently endure the bureaucratic hammering.

But sometimes our leaders see fit to give a little pat on the back for a job well done.  The New York City Department of Education created the Big Apple Awards last year to recognize teacher excellence. This year I was nominated along with over 3,200 teachers for this honor.  I have no idea who nominated me but whoever it was must have written a fantastic recommendation letter because I was selected to apply for the award (along with 500 other educators).

The application required a written response to four questions and two letters of recommendation (from a co worker and an administrator).

That went well and I was selected as a semi-finalist.  The 100 semi-finalists had to appear for a 25-minute interview.  I had my interview on Monday.  I think it went well but these things are so subjective.

As a researcher, my inner voice kept commenting on the conduct of my interviewers.  I wondered what training they were given for this and if there were key words/phrases they were looking for.  Who knows?  I felt that I was passionate, confident and articulate.

We'll see.

I would love to be selected because the award recipients serve as education ambassadors.  Lord knows, I have a lot to say.

But, as the woman sitting next to me waiting to be interviewed stated, "It is an honor to be recognized whether it ends here or not".

It is indeed!


37paddington said...

This is wonderful Gary! Whether you are selected or not, you absolutely deserve this award. The woman beside you at the interview is very wise.

Betsy Brock said...

I hope you get it! You most certain ly deserve it. Congratulations on being nominated and for being a semi-finalist! How wonderful!

Gary said...

Thank you both!

I've noticed that these awards rarely go to teachers in the lower grades but I am still hoping I am chosen for the ambassador role.

I'll keep you posted xo

Anonymous said...

Well done and good luck Gary!

Pauline said...

Congratulations1 Can't wait to read the sequel to this post, no matter the outcome.

And yes, it would be great fun to be neighbors - just think what the two of us could learn about teaching and gardening!

Xpressive Handz said...

Gary, congratulations on your nomination!! You deserve to win!

Gary said...

Thanks Brac!

Pauline - My mind gets lost in the possibility of spending an afternoon gardening and talking with you.

Xpressive - The nomination has brought out such wonderful support from everyone. I already feel like a winner! Thank you!


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