My principal offered me the microphone and I should have humbly waved it away and just said, "Thank you." However, I am a bit of a ham and couldn't resist the chance to address our faculty.
I've worked at this school for only a month and a couple of fantastic co-workers nominated me for this month's Crystal Apple Award. I didn't even know what the award was when the AP was soliciting nominations. Apparently teachers write nice things about coworkers and the AP reads the nice things at the meeting and then a decision is made on which one person receives a lovely little crystal apple WITH their name engraved on the base. Sweet, right??
I was super surprised to hear the AP read one nomination for me, but then when she read the second one I seriously teared up.
I approached the principal who offered me the microphone, which I took. So....what I said was something like, "I love this school, it isn't like this everywhere, I've worked at 5 schools, I love my teammates." Really eloquent. NOT.
What I meant to say....
In my relatively short career of 13 years, I've taught at 5 very different schools. It is apparent when you walk into a building where the focus is. From the moment I darkened the doorway at this place I have felt the love for the children. It's everywhere you look, but it is especially evident in the way the adults treat the children.
I noticed teachers hugging kids in the hallway during the first week of school and figured they were just glad to see each other after the long summer break. But no, this happens every day still and we're five weeks into school. At dismissal, it is difficult to exit the building because the teachers line the sidewalk and hallways and hug kids as they leave for home.
The principal is like a rock star - the kids absolutely swarm him wherever he goes. They hug him AND most importantly he hugs back and he looks them in the eyes and speaks to every one of them.
I've had to step up my game in order to live up to the standards set by these amazing teachers and administrators. One of the things mentioned in the nominations was that I'd been working on weekends and even Labor Day to be ready for my students. I put in the time because I would hate to let these people down. I'm not doing anything special or different than any of these other fine educators - I'm just trying to be one of them.
So, I thank you for the award. I cannot put into words how much it means to me to be recognized by my peers, especially when they're rock stars.