My Teacher of the Year Journey

Gloria Noyes, 2009 Maine State Teacher of the Year

Archive for January, 2009

 

Mary Beth Blegen moves the ToYs in more than one way!

Mary Beth Blegen moves the ToYs more than one way!

Our day was packed with insightful sessions that dealt with “Working with Policy Makers,” “Working with the Media,” and a motivational session with Mary Beth Blegen (1996 National Teacher of the Year).  “Working with the Media,” proved to be a great help in learning how to represent yourself appropriately while getting your message across.  We were asked to think about what our “rich and fudgy” was as the State Teacher of the Year.  (In other words… find what it is that you believe in!)  During this session, the two presenters, Douglas Dooher and Joe Lowethal, felt it would be “helpful” to do mock interviews in front of the entire group of ToYs and coordinators.  Now I guess this sounded like a good idea, unless you were a ToY like me, who was sitting in my chair praying that they would not come within a 20 foot radius of me.  As luck would have it, they must have sensed this… next thing I knew there was a microphone in front of me.  So when Joe asked what state I was from, the first thing that came to my head was…”Louisiana!”  Sometimes humor is as important as your “rich and fudgy.”
Our last night together was one I’ll never forget!*** There was a lovely reception and dinner to conclude our time together.  As a collective group, we were fortunate to give a loud round of applause to Chip Wheeler, who works for the ING Foundation, without ING’s financial support the National Teacher of the Year Program would not be what it is today.  Michael Geisen, the 2008 National Teacher of the Year also gave a fantastic speech.  Sadly, my Dallas journey is almost over. 
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  • Issue Focus Seminar and Network Time

     

    Another great day…we worked on “Building Communities for Learning” with several guest speakers from the Center for Teaching Quality.  The afternoon concluded with a home room session to process the day’s information.  The ToYs and CoYs were allowed some unscheduled time for networking during the mid-afternoon,  most of us went out to explore the Dallas area.  A group of us went out for dinner and then went to the House of Blues…Unfortunately, the band cancelled that night.  The good news is we were treated like royalty, and our group was given a private tour of the place…we also lounged around the the VIP area…how cool is that?  This award certainly has it privileges!  It was another marvelous day!

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  • Teaching It Forward Scholarship

    Teaching It Forward Scholarship

    Today, the ToYs (Teachers of the Year) and the CoYs (Coordinators of the Year…or so we like to call them) stayed together for both the morning and most of the afternoon sessions.  The networking, service, and informational sessions have been fantastic.  The ToYs were given a chance to break in to smaller groups called “homerooms,” to discuss and share several educational issues we all face.  This was a terrific opportunity to get a better sense of what is taking place in the various states and also to find the commonality amongst us.

    Our day ended with a trip to the amazing Women’s Museum. http://www.thewomensmuseum.org/  We were pampered with a gorgeous buffet, had our names posted in lights @ 15 feet high, and were given a gift so incredible that I’m still choked up about it…a “Teaching It Forward Scholarship.”  This scholarship generously offered by the Apollo Group, Inc. and the University of Phoenix on behalf of the National Teacher of the Year Program and the Council of Chief School Officers, will offer each State Teacher of the Year the opportunity to choose one high school senior in their district, to receive a four year tution paid scholarship to the University of Phoenix.  http://www.phoenix.edu/

    To me, this has been one of the greatest gifts of being the Maine Teacher of the Year.  It is not everyday that you are given the chance to make a huge impact on some one’s life… a chance to promote education with financial support.  I’m elated!  Thank you to all of the parties responsible for this life changing gift!

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  • A SMART day in Dallas!

    My day started with breakfast and getting to know several of the ToYs.  Many coordinators are also here today and will continue to come all day.  My coordinator, Jennifer Pooler, is getting re-routed in order to get here. (She did not get here until 8pm…I was so glad that she made it, as some peole couldn’t even get a flight out.) 

    The day was spent training and learning how to use our new SMART technology.  Each Teacher of the Year received a generous package that included a SMART board, projector, Senteo software and clickers and an AirLiner.  http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-us/products/  To go along with this incredible gift was a whole days worth of coaching here in Dallas.  I’m soooo excited to go back and try out some of the new programs they modeled. 

    The day concluded with the 2009 NTOY Program Conference Opening Dinner and a very moving speech by the 2002 National Teacher of the Year, Chauncey Veatch.  I am surrounded by truly inspirational teachers and coordinators.  It is strange, but it seems as if I’ve always known a majority of these outstanding people.  They remind me of my colleagues back at Congin School and throughout my district.

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  • Dallas or Bust!!!

    Tuesday…travel day.  Things didn’t go exactly as they were planned today at the airport, as there was terrible weather up and down the coast. Taking advantage of this quiet time, I started reading Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer.  Some of my fifth graders were reading it, and after having a ”book talk” with one of them, it sounded very interesting.  I couldn’t put the book down the whole day, it is almost finished.   After 12 hours in airports and planes, I made it safely to Dallas, Texas.  Expecting it to be warmer than Maine, I was soon amused to find myself waiting outside for a shuttle while freezing rain was hitting my face.  Can you believe it?? It was only 20 degrees. 

    Arriving at the Hilton Hotel around eight o’clock, I was one of the last to arrive.  The “Welcome Buffet Dinner,” was wrapping up when I arrived as there were only two other people who had not eaten yet.  The food was delicious…I hadn’t eaten anything since 11:30 am.  I was ready to eat my boots. :)

    The hotel is gorgeous and my room is very nice…I’m just a little sad thinking about my boys back in Maine.  I’m looking forward to meeting all of the other ToYs tomorrow.

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  • 12:01 am Where’s the call?

    The Bat-phone never rang!

    The Bat-phone never rang!

    The jokes on me! 

    I was told that at the start of New Year’s Day (12:01 am), I would receive a call from the 2008 Maine Teacher of the Year, Martin McKeon, to pass the torch via the phone. ( A wonderful Maine tradition or so I thought.)  Thinking that I’d out smart him, I eagerly awaited his call while I watched the ball drop in Times Square on TV.  I had been practicing sounding like an elderly person who had her sleep interrupted.  Giggling to myself I couldn’t wait to play the prank on Marty.  However by 1am…the joke was on me!  He never called!  I swear I’m going to start this tradition for the 2010 T.O.Y.  ha..ha. 

    May you be blessed with a year full of health, love, laughter, and fun!!!

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