We celebrated Back-to-School Night at my place of employment on Thursday. I use the verb in that first sentence loosely, because it's not often so much of a celebration as a chore. Parents who greeted me in Room 215, however, did lend a bit of a festive air to the proceedings.
Word has spread quickly that I was selected 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year. The award, conferred by our Parent Teacher Student Association, carries a little bit of cachet with it. My name now goes into the school district's pool of other TOTYs, where the school board, I believe, will pick an honoree from the overall district. The board then submits that name to The Washington Post, whose TOTY committee selects the Teacher of the Year from the entire region.
Of course, I was thrilled beyond expectation in June when the PTSA dubbed me our school's nominee. Only trouble was that I received the award - and the plaque that went with it - at the staff meeting on the last day of school. Hence, no maximum community coverage.
So anyway, parents are starting to talk, and by BTS Night I'd received quite a few congratulatory handshakes. And not to brag, but the best was yet to come. During my First Period spiel about classroom policies and philosophies, I happened to mention that I'd just marked my 20th year in Room 215. Two parents then spoke up. "And she's Teacher of the Year!" they chorused.
The SRO crowd didn't stand - so many were, already, you see - but I was greeted with thunderous applause. This scene then played out at the beginning of my ensuing four sessions. Things got so rowdy in Room 215 that at one point our new principal stuck his head in, and joined in the applause.
It's good to be back.