Arriving in Washington DC as the 2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year
Oh the anticipation of arriving in Washington DC for the recognition activities for the 2014 National and State Teachers of the Year. I am representing all the amazing teachers in Colorado, wish all of them could be here too. Thoughts going through my mind are I cannot believe this is happening to me and my family, what an amazing opportunity we have.
We arrive in the evening, the other NSTOY's are out on the town taking a night tour of the monuments, luckily I grew up in the Washington DC area and have already experienced the magic of the monuments at night.
The first full day was incredible, we started out at the Smithsonian Institute. We took behind the scenes tour of different museums on the Smithsonian. Some went to the Air and Space, Portrait Gallery, American History Museum and I went to the Natural History Museum for a behind the scenes look at the insect zoo, soooo cool!! My friend that accompanied me was Flat Stanley, he might be a familiar face. I chronicled my insect tour with Flat Stanley and sent his adventure to my sister who is a 5th grade teacher in Rhode Island. Our guide was Dan Babbitt, Museum Insect Zoo Manager. You can always tell how good someone is in their field by the amount of passion they have for what they do and Dan was as passionate as they come. Before my visit an insect was an insect, by the time I left the museum insects were incredible creatures which rule our world. I actually have empathy for insects now.
|2014 NSTOY "insect group"|
|This room is filled with 5 million spiders.|
|Cataloged butterflies. |
After the Smithsonian we were off to the Navel Observatory to have tea with the second lady Dr. Jill Biden. We entered the house on a cool rainy spring day with the marine strings playing a wonderful greeting to us. We walked around the ground floor of the house waiting for the Dr. Jill Biden to speak to us. She is also an educator who currently teaches at a community college. What an inspiration she was, it was an honor to be welcomed into her home and an honor to hear her speak so passionately about teaching.
|2014 NSTOY's at Dr. Jill Biden's house.|
|Instruction from the amazing support at SMART.|
|Planning our lesson.|
Wow I feel like I have been in DC for weeks, the time has been filled with so many amazing experiences and I have not even met the President yet. On the third day we were off to the Department of Education to be apart of "Teach to Lead Initiative" a new proposed project that we got to see before anyone else. Don't worry you can read all about it at ED.gov or at the teachtolead.net. The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, "Teachers have spoken eloquently about how important it is to have a voice in what happens in their schools and their profession -- without leaving the classroom." I have to agree I wish there was more opportunity for me as a teacher to work in leadership rolls in my school and this initiative is a great start. I will elaborate on the "Teach to Lead Initiative" in a later blog.
|The Department of Education|
|Getting ready to take on the future with fellow NSTOYs|
|Ready to celebrate with my husband Bill Miner|
|Arne Duncan the Secretary of Education|
Our final day in Washington DC we spent the day at the Executive Building and The White House. At the Executive Building we met with Roberto Rodriquez, Special Assistant to the President, Cecilia Munoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council to discuss President Obama's Early Education Agenda then the floor was open up to all the teachers to speak about what is happening in their states. This was so exciting because I got to address the increase of cutting Physical Education, Music and the Arts and how important it is to make sure all states and district understand how important these programs are to the health and well being of our students.
|Excited to have a voice.|
|What an honor!!|