On April 27th I headed to Washington, D.C. for Teacher Recognition Week. If you would have asked me back in October when this all started if I deserved to go to Washington on a trip that would culminate with meeting the President, I would have said no. However, in the last 6 1/2 months I have done everything I can physically and mentally do to represent and recognize the teachers of my state. This position doesn't come with a guide book, just a lot of recognition and bucket loads of guilt for the students and family members that have to do without your presence. I have brought the same commitment to this role as I did for 10 years in the classroom. Are there countless teachers that deserve national recognition for their contributions to education. Absolutely. Do I feel that I am finally among them? I do.
The majority of the other state teachers of the year arrived by Sunday evening. To reintroduce everyone and to relax after a long day of traveling (the state and territory teachers of the year hail from as far away as American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands), we were taken on a bus tour of the monuments, sponsored by People to People Ambassador Programs. Before the tour, we had a reception at a building that overlooked none other than...the Capitol Building.
Afterwards, we began our tour of the following memorials: Washington Monument, World War II, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lincoln Memorial. Having lived 90 minutes from D.C. my entire life, it's easy to take for granted how amazing it is to live so close to a national capital. Visiting Washington was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of the teachers to bring back to their schools and classrooms.
|World War II Memorial|
|WWII Memorial with Washington Monument in the Background|
|Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial|
|Front View of the MLK Memorial|
|View of the Jefferson Memorial|
|Reflecting pool view from steps of Lincoln Memorial|
We had beautiful weather that evening - which was fortunate, considering we would have rain for the next three days. All of the beautiful memorials to the history of our nation we saw that evening were just the foundation for the amazing events that were soon to follow.