Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Teacher of the Year Celebration

Chets Creek has always celebrated it's Teacher of the Year in the way that I think all teachers should be celebrated.
On the morning of the Duval County's Eddy Awards the school came together by grade level. The grade level of the Teacher of the Year decides on a theme for the celebration and decorates for the event. The theme for this year's Kindergarten Teacher of the Year Haley Alvarado was Super Heroes. The table decorations featured Haley's head on the top of a curvy Wonder Woman - too too cute! Each grade level brought something for breakfast that we enjoyed as the festivities began. Haley really is one of those special people that is a Super Hero to us all.

The festivities began, as they always do, with a PowerPoint salute to the Teacher of the Year which is a "This is Your Life," presenting the teacher from the time she is a child to present in pictures with music. There are always a few "ahhhs" and whistles. This year's video was even more special because during the PowerPoint Haley announced for the first time that she is expecting her second child!

Next, each grade level presented a skit about the special teacher. The skits are usually irreverent and so much fun! This year was no exception! We laughed uncontrollably. We cried. We just enjoyed being teachers! Each grade level traditionally presents the teacher with a gift but this year all the grade levels got together and presented a monetary donation to Children and Family Services Foster Care program to honor Haley for being a foster mom. It brought tears to us all. The Kindergarten Team also honored Haley with a brick that will be part of the flag walk celebrating our tenth year anniversary.

The day ended with the Eddy Awards where we dressed up, enjoyed dinner and a new Duval County Teacher of the Year was crowned. It's a wonderful celebration for our most deserving teacher.

Haley's class honored her on Friday in her classroom where all of the children dressed as their favorite super hero. Melanie Holtsman taught the children to sign "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler because the chorus is, "Did you ever know that you're my hero?" Lahna Benson, now a fourth grader, who had Haley for Kindergarten and 1st grade, signed the verses while Haley's kindergartners signed the chorus. They entertained at a morning breakfast. I understand they sang to a very tearful teacher!

Teacher of the Year is really not about a single teacher. It's about celebrating the vocation that we have each chosen. It is a reminder to us of all of the characteristics that make exceptional teachers and it reminds us of all the reasons we wanted to become a teacher. Actually it's quite a humbling experience for most Teachers of the Year. For the rest of us, it just makes us proud to have chosen this profession! Congratulations Haley! You are a role model to us all! Let us raise our Jello shots to you - To Haley!

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