I split last Saturday between the Jefferson County Reading Association's "Leaders of Literacy" Conference at Shepherd University and the Eastern Panhandle Alumni Chapter (EPAC) of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, where I received the Educator Award at their annual Jazz Brunch. I thought after being named teacher of the year that would be the end of any more recognition ("maxed out," in other words), but between this and PBS Digital Innovators I guess not. I went down to Shepherd to speak at the opening of the literacy conference, then went to the Jazz Brunch to meet with the members of Delta Sigma Theta and accept my award, then back to Shepherd to do my presentation on integrating bridges and West Virginia history with "The Great Bridge Building Contest" at the end of the day.
|Howard Burns' Band|
|With the other awardees|
|Accepting the Educator Award|
After my presentation, I was in dire need of being recharged. It was a beautiful day in Shepherdstown, so I took a walk around Shepherd's campus to enjoy the warm Spring weather before heading home to recharge for Spring Break.
|McMurran Hall (and Berkeley)|
|Some of the pedagogy projects at the literacy conference|
My husband's a runner. They say that the last six miles of a marathon are the most demanding because your body and mind have reached their limits, regardless of how much you've trained. As you progress to the finish line, it gets harder to stay focused and hang on to what little energy you have reserved (now I'm just speaking about what I've heard, because I don't run and have no interest in being involved in it aside from cheering from the sidelines...and occasionally reprimanding Brad for overdoing it). April is my last six miles. Oh, this experience and my role are nowhere near over after this month (2014 is 2014, after all), but between now and May 1 when the state teachers of the year are recognized at the White House is when the travel and the expectations are the most intense. Every week this month I feel like I've sprinted up another staircase that the week before seemed impossible to climb. I plan, drive, appear, present, and repeat. It's a time consuming workout that has taught me more about myself and even more about my state. I'm proud, focused, and prepared, but I sure am glad the finish line is in sight.