Monday, February 20, 2012

Working hard for the money...

Happy President’s Day! It’s winter break for many teachers this week. So what are we up to?
I recently heard that a person is most creative in problem solving when they are groggy, or just waking up. For me this is definitely true! To begin my break today, this morning, as I was getting up and getting dressed, I was thinking about what my “high” group will do next week during their reading group. I thought over what book they should read, and how I will introduce them to a new experience called “literature circle” (and how much I know they are going to love it!). I also got a great idea about an upcoming workshop for teachers that I am leading. After that I took a quick trip out for my morning coffee, and came back home to do some much needed housework. When I was done, I was on my computer doing work for school. A little while into that, I got several texts from my friends who are also teachers, and guess what they were doing? That’s right! Schoolwork! The teachers who aren’t doing work for school are invariably spending time with their children …and probably still thinking about their classes, if I had to guess.
I view my “break” as an opportunity to do school related things that I normally wouldn’t have time for during a regular school week. (Okay, I also view break as time for housework and sleeping late.) I, like many teachers, are thinking about school and our students all the time. And for me, that thinking is also planning, and that planning is also working. And, that working is what I choose to do during my time off. I choose to work because I am a teacher. I am dedicated and I truly care about my students and their learning. They are important to me when I walk through my classroom door, and when I am getting dressed in the morning. Teaching is my life, and it doesn’t stop during “break”.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Honor Our Profession

I am the New York State Teacher of the Year 2012. I am not the best teacher in the state, though, or even my building. I am, however, a teacher who had the 2nd best New York State Teacher of the Year application, and the best interview. I am also a good teacher. That's right, I said it! Sometimes humility is best left at the front door. The thing is, everywhere I look- down the hall, next door, in the other wing, I see good teachers. Actually, I see great teachers! We are great teachers, who deserve to be recognized. I initially applied for NYS TOY because I felt it was a different and great way to reflect on myself as a teacher. I could apply because I was Schenectady Teacher of the Year. I became Schenectady TOY because I created and submitted a portfolio to represent my teaching- yet another great way for self-reflection. I could submit that portfolio because someone nominated me for the Schenectady TOY. So it all boils down to one person in my district taking the time to nominate me.
I realize that every district in our state has a different nomination process. Some may not even have any process. That doesn’t change the fact that there are amazing teachers out there who deserved to be recognized and represent all that is great in our profession.
When I created my NYS TOY application I didn't expect to win.  But I did think: it could be me.
Could you be your district’s TOY?  You could be.
Could your neighbor be your district’s TOY? He could be.
Could that person also be the next NYS TOY? She could be.
The application for NYS Teacher of the Year is now accessible at

 We are great. Let's nominate.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Next test...accomplished

Yes, I have found my blog at home. I wonder what else I can do...

Still testing...and I don't mean the ELAs!

Well, I seem to have found my blog without assistance. The question is, now what? How about a picture. Let's give that a try...

That's me with Gail Gibbons, author extraordinaire. She's one of my favorites! I got that book signed too.

Hello there!

This is a test of the emergency blogging system. Hello!