About a month ago, I received a teaching award at my school. Technically, I suppose it isn’t an award, but a chair (“the William C. Stutt Chair for Math, Science, and Technology”). Fancy, right? I wasn’t going to blog about it, but it is something I want to archive and that’s the biggest (but not the only) reason I blog.
It’s given out every three years, and the last person to get it is one of my best friends at the school (who is also the person I look up to as a teacher).
When I was called up, there was a standing ovation from the faculty. Of course, let’s put the cards on the table here: there always is a standing ovation from the faculty when anyone gets an award. But I can’t help but admit I got a real glow-y feeling. I was overcome when I saw my parents there, a surprise! They popped out of the curtain and hugged me. I didn’t quite know what to say, so I babbled. All I remember saying is my teaching motto: “Try to suck a little bit less each day.” I posted this on facebook, me feeling babble-y, and a friend said: “You are amazing. Your comment to the faculty about trying to suck less everyday was perfect and came up again a number of times over the remainder of the meeting. I hope you and your parents had fun celebrating your awesomeness this afternoon. Also, please take that standing ovation personally. We could have gone on clapping forever. There was nothing perfunctory about it. Congratulations!” So yes, me all feeling warm and fuzzy.
I also posted this on facebook: “Although I’m not one who basks in honors and awards (I even skipped out on going to my college Phi Beta Kappa induction and a writing award in college), I do feel like teaching is a profession where you don’t get a lot of positive reinforcement for the emotional struggle that you carry with you every day. A few kind words from students occasionally, or a nice email from a parent, if that. 99% of what we do goes unseen and unacknowledged. It’s isolating and exhausting. So this award was a nice thing, something I can turn to when I feel like I’m emotionally drained and a failure. (Which is more often than not.) But more than that, it reminds me how important it is that we teachers give accolades and kudos to each other in a million unofficial ways, *everyday.* Because most all the teachers (especially the math and science teachers) at my school are pretty awesome. And every one of us are working to do right by our kids. And more than awards that get handed out once in a blue moon, we need to pay attention of the good that everyone else is doing around you, and acknowledging and huzzah!-ing those things. Yes, that’s what I see from this. Let’s prop each other up.”
The little news blurb on our school website is here. Archived.
Please also know there are people all over the world who are inspired and re-energized by your blog posts. Very happy to see appropriate heros celebrated in your school as part of building/maintaining what sounds like a great culture. Also love the bow tie!
Congratulations and well-deserved! I love your blog posts, but meeting you in person at TMC2013 put a human face to a hard working, dedicated, and fun educator who values sharing and collaboration to help improve education for all. Keep up the fine work you are doing!
I so appreciate all that you do to support our profession.
Congratulations and thanks for archiving. Perhaps you can take this award to mean that you are truly Sucking. A. Little. Less. Every. Day! I know that your posts have given me a few ideas on how to do just that!
You all are great! Thank you for your kind words. I feel glow-y all over again.
Congrats, Sam! A well-deserved honor, and a typically humble and thoughtful response.
I’m sure once the #MTBoS starts giving out awards, you’re first on the list.
Congrats, Sam!! I think it’s time to pat yourself on the back just a little :) you rock and contribute so much to the #MTBoS!
Congratulations! And thanks for sharing so that we can celebrate with you!
Way to go Sam! Congratulations. A well-deserved award.
I am a student research assistant at Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Technology has created exciting ways to connect with others and form professional learning networks. As a part of an active member of a social media community made up of teachers, I wanted to contact you to ask you to participate in a study our research group is conducting.
Research shows that face-to-face professional networks provide much needed professional and personal support to teachers. You and the community you belong to are providing these types of support using social media. We are interested in learning more about your experiences using social media to connect with other teachers and your opinions about online professional networks.
The purpose of our study is to learn how professional learning networks created through social media are similar or different than face-to-face networks and what you feel are advantages of using social media to connect with other teachers. Our hope is that the results of this study will inform how professional networks for teachers are designed in the future. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to me at teacherblogPLN@gmail.com. I will send you a link to a short online survey and will set up time for a short skype interview.
If you have any questions you would like to ask about the study, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montana Tech of the University of Montana
A little late to the celebration, but congrats Sam!