"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"
Nelson Mandela

Monday, February 3, 2014

Reflection is Key to Our Profession

2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year Journey

So my journey to becoming the 2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year began in February of 2013 when my principal approached me and asked me if he could nominate me for this incredible honor.  Principal Watson had just joined us at Fitzsimmons Middle School at the beginning of the year and I was awe struck that anyone would nominate me for such a prestigious honor.  The long and sometimes frustrating process began; nothing like writing 15 pages about yourself, especially coming from someone who never thinks about herself only how she can make other people better.  It amazed me how much I learned about myself; from my personal philosophy, educational issues that I thought are important to writing an acceptance speach all in the writing process.    In July I got a phone call from the Colorado Department of Education announcing that my application was moved on the next phase, interview.  This was no ordinary interview this interview took place in a conference room with 15 knowledgeable faces watching me, slightly nerve racking.  As I learned later on I nailed it.  I also knew through this process if I could just physically talk to someone I could really show them what I was about as a Physical Education Teacher.  The third phase was having some of those knowledgeable faces come watch me teach for a couple hours.  This was exciting; finally I get to show someone outside of my school how passionate and dedicated I am to my students and my profession as a Physical Education Teacher.

The waiting began; I continued to teach, like the process never started, honored that I had made it to the final three teachers.  I never thought I was actually going to win.  The day arrived when my principal called me into his office and asked me to shut the door, his door is never shut!!!!!  He announced to me that I had won, I won!!!!!!  Wall of emotion washed over me, I could not believe that this amazing honor was bestowed to me.  My first thought was I am just a Physical Education Teacher, but then I realized that I am not just a Physical Education Teacher but a teacher that is driven to be the best teacher for my students.  October 11, 2013 I was announced the 2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year.

Honestly this was an incredible experience even if I had not won, the knowledge I obtained about myself and how I teach was enlightening.  I would recommend this process to any teacher who wants to reflect on their own careers.  Reach out to your school, district or community and nominate someone, you could even nominate yourself.  Go to http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeawards/trtoyinf for more information or feel free to ask me any questions you may have on this amazing process.

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