What is the best way to recognize the unbelievable work of our nation’s educators?
I find this question interesting. As an awardee of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, I was recognized for my work. I was awarded a trip to DC and I met President Obama. It was a wonderful experience, one that I will never forget. During the celebration week, I and the other teachers felt valued and respected. We were recognized for our unique talents and our dedication to education.
When I returned from the awards week, I was rejuvenated and excited about returning to my school. I felt like I had so many things to contribute. I was ready to do work beyond my classroom and my school. I was eager to do more, but I was never called on for anything beyond my school. Other awardees were recognized by their State Board of Education, and asked to participate in projects, or act as mentors.
The award and recognition were wonderful experiences that I will cherish, but, for me, the real recognition is knowing that my opinion and my creative ideas are valued and respected. I want the opportunity to share my expertise and to contribute.