Thursday, February 12, 2009

Teachers, Excellence, Leadership, Results

I was already in the school this morning when my husband called me and told me that he was feeling very very sick and he needed me home. I immediately prepared for the substitute folder, submitted an emergency leave slip to the AP and hurried 30 miles back home.

My 12 month old baby had an appointment with his pediatrician, and my 5th grade daughter was given several awards today during the school's recognition ceremony, I made sure that I was there for them. I am still trying to be better at juggling family life with my work as a teacher, it's not always easy.

Remember my entry on Parental Involvement when I wrote about my daughter's school and how they have helped my daughter come out of her shell, and how they are successfully pulling the parents into their programs and getting them actively involved?

This afternoon I had to attend the recognition ceremony in my daughter's school. Rae made me a very proud mom today as always. She received the Principal's Award for having all A's again this quarter. She also received the Student of the Quarter in Reading and her homeroom teacher told the audience what she has achieved in class to get this. She also got the All Greens Award, meaning, she was always in her excellent behavior in class. I looked around the hall and saw parents beaming with joy, happiness and pride. The school, the teachers, the students, the parents are proud members of this school community. The school climate is very positive, cheerful and active.

I finally met the leader behind all these, the Principal of Ryon Elementary School in Charles County Public Schools, Principal Virginia Mc Graw. She has a positive aura surrounding her, and I got more interested when she told me that she used to be a special education teacher in DC Public Schools a little less than 30 years ago. We shared some common experiences as DCPS educators, but then there is something in her that immediately earned my respect and admiration --- she respects her staff, the teachers, the parents and the students, and most of all, she appreciates them. A special education teacher from DC Public Schools was awarded as the Principal of the Year and has successfully transformed a Title 1 school into Maryland's Most Outstanding school in 2007?

She introduced me to another respectable veteran special education teacher, Ms. Peels who showed me her classroom and allowed me to borrow some of her strategies in giving instruction to students with special needs that I will surely bring back to my classroom. I told Ms. Peel and Principal Mc Graw that I believe I need special education mentors like them who can share their expertise and wisdom from their years of experience. They gave me their emails.

Tonight when I checked my inbox, I saw this video about "Teachers, Excellence, Leadership, Results". As soon as the video started I cried, I couldn't control my emotions until the end of the video. Do you understand why I cried? Watch this video.

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