Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week in Review: Apple Harvest Parade and New Teacher Mixer

Right now, I'm a little sleepy. Alex, my big, orange, kitty, is keeping me awake by grunting at me whenever I stop scratching behind his ears (which makes typing a little difficult).

It's been a busy seven days.

Last Saturday, I rode in the Apple Harvest Parade, an event of the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival in Martinsburg. If you remember in my last post, I was quite tickled they asked me to be in it, shortly after the school year began. And it was absolutely, purely fun to get to wave at my family, friends, and students ("There's Mrs. Sponaugle!!! There's Mrs. Sponaugle!!!") along the parade route. As I said previously, every teacher should get to feel so special.

Thanks, Jim, for driving me in your car!
Ready to roll!

Driving up Queen Street

I taped an episode at Potomack Intermediate on Monday for Be the DifferenceWV. A big thanks to Lauren Mongada and Cathy Stickel for letting me interview them. I hope to get it up on my YouTube channel tomorrow - there's been so much else going on I haven't had time yet to put the segments together. My head is still swimming (remember the Olympic backstroke?) with how to balance my classroom with my new responsibilities. Which is why I am catching myself nodding off to sleep as I write this - except Alex, the big orange kitty, has now proceeded to the kitchen to yowl like Tarzan for a late night snack.

On Tuesday, I attended the New Teacher Mixer at the Purple Iris. There were about 70 new teachers from Berkeley County Schools, as well as some of our school business partners. This was actually my second event for new teachers in our area, as I spoke to the 200+ newly hired teachers in our school system this year at a breakfast at the start of the school year. It was a nice event to introduce the new teachers in our county to one another, as well as to some of the resources for young professionals in our area. 

With some of the new teachers from Tomahawk
New Teacher Mixer
Purple Iris

I spoke at this event as well about how I began my teaching career, the importance of community, and my three A's for new teachers. You can watch my speech at this link. 

Today, I presented at the National Board Certification cohort in Berkeley County. I am a candidate support provider for those pursuing National Board Certification in our school system. My sweet, fellow CSPs, some of which mentored me when I was going through National Board certification, presented me with an NBCT pin to wear during my travels this year. I strongly support the National Board process and introducing teachers to the benefits of achieving certification. In an era of monumental education reform, we need quality teachers who remain in our school systems throughout their careers. The incentives of National Board Certification provide a link to that - but I'll have to expand on that in another post.

Tomorrow is my day off. I will spend it preparing this upcoming week for my students, as well as planning what I want to accomplish this year as the West Virginia Teacher of the Year. I have many ideas, goals for communicating to the rest of the country all the good that occurs in our public school system. I want to be the same "go-getter" that I've been in the classroom - while still maintaining a presence in my own classroom this year.

My entire message is centered around being the difference, breaking away from the norm in order to move forward. I want to redefine, "reimagine" (my new, favorite un-word) what it means to be a representative of education. Can a 5th grade teacher do that? 

We'll find out - right after I give this grumpy, orange kitty his snack (and end his evening concert).
- Erin

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