EIGHTY-FIVE

I AM NOT a finalist for California Teacher of the Year.  I got the official notice today in the form of a certificate from the California Department of Education.  It is sparkly, and only the teachers who were nominated (58 Teachers) in California got them.  It is a tremendous honor to be nominated, and the essays I worked on this summer were a fabulous way to solidify why I teach.  

Still, I'm just competitive enough to be a little let down.  I love any chance I can get to talk about our school and all the hard work that is happening there.  Our students are pretty amazing and I work with some crazy good teachers who deserve all the spotlight in the world.  I always love giving the press a chance to look at what Phillips Elementary is doing.

Plus, now I won't be on Ellen, which is the real driving force behind the whole process.  I love Ellen and have always wanted to go to her show.  The amount of work that goes into State teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year is intense, but being invited on Ellen is a pretty good carrot! 

Now, it is back to regular life which is fine by me.  It always feels strange to listen to people talk about your work in the classroom -- especially when you know for a FACT that there are a ton of teachers out there working just as hard as you and accomplishing just as many amazing things.

I really wanted to rep our district,too.  I have only been a part of NVUSD for three and a half years now, and I've got MAD respect for how hard everyone works.  I was extremely fortunate to land at such a great school in such a great district.  

Of course this is no where near the end of my season of saying "yes".  I'm still saying yes to all kinds of things -- my new robotics club starts at lunch this Friday.  I sure hope one of my student teams is able to pull off something amazing that puts them on the radar for the folks running the competition.  My kids are WICKED smart and deserve every chance they get and more.  I am going to continue to focus on pulling as many positive opportunities into our school that I can.  As I've written before, there are a TON of people out there just waiting for the chance to lift students up -- all students.  All you have to do when they ask is say, "Yes."

I'm just waiting to see, what's next.

--Jen

(Napa County Teacher of the Year, California Teacher of the Year Participant)