Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Birthday (the Altered Images Version)

May 29 - June 3

Returning from Atlanta, I hit the ground running.  Still working on several projects at once.  I had to get ready for three more speeches this week.  Now all of this running around does take its toll on a girl, and every so often I wake up feeling like I have been hit by a truck and need to take a day to regroup. Also, being a single girl means that nothing in my house gets done unless I do it, not the shopping, cooking, cleaning or paying my bills.  However, even when I am home, I am constantly working responding to emails, writing, completing applications etc.

I worked out of Trenton on Tuesday, trying to catch up with everything I missed while out in rural Georgia, but managed to have dinner with a friend who took me out for an early birthday celebration. 

By Wednesday, I was back at Mercer County College, this time for a teacher evaluation conference sponsored by NJEA and NJPSA which discussed, in detail, each of the four evaluation models NJ is focusing on.  It was a great opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts and make some informed decisions.  Each district is supposed to be convening a committee to decide which model is best for them in the upcoming year.  I was expecting the room to be full of administrators since this meeting was not offered to the general membership.  It was about 3/4 full of teachers all itching to know more.  It was nice to see them with their administration having productive discussion about the pros and cons of all the models.  My first reaction was that these conferences need to happen all over the state...and fast!

Thursday was my 41st birthday, and in 1971 I was born on Memorial Day.  My family usually celebrates with a BBQ over that weekend, but with my schedule, it was going to have to wait until the following weekend.  I had been gone the whole of Memorial Day weekend and today I had a speech to give in Cumberland County!  I did make a stop for some cupcakes on the way home though. Yum!

It was nice to be in South Jersey for once, driving through the countryside on a beautifully sunny day to get to the Cumberland Co Vocational School where the TOY ceremony was being held.  As with most CTE (Career and Technical Education) schools, everything was done in-house. The food was great, the floral arrangements stunning, and each teacher got personalized notepads from the print shop.  Even better, I got to share the stage that day with fellow CTOY Tara Cotton.  Unfortunately she had to go after me.  It was a great morning/afternoon and it was easy to see that Cumberland County is proud of its educators. 

With fellow CTOY Tara Cotton

The next day I was off to the Hunterdon County TOY ceremony with fellow CTOY Sean Chappe.  Once again, we were at their CTE facility, only a share time (half day) program.  Once again, a great program with some stellar food.  The teachers were given gifts of clocks, a nice touch. 

With fellow CTOY Sean Chappe and new 2013 CTOY Mary Woods

After that, it was back to the office to make final preparations for Saturday's speech on Leadership.
It was off to Sayen Elementary School early on Saturday morning where I was to give a keynote speech at a DKG Leadership Conference on Leadership.  I had data, anecdotes and was ready, but was a little unsure.  DKG is a group of outstanding professional women educators and I had just been inducted this year.  There were 150 leaders from around the state in the room, most of whom had far more teaching experience than me.  I had only 30 minutes and I squeezed as much in as I could celebrating, advising and at times even chiding the audience.  It worked because I got a standing ovation, not easy when you are sitting in cafeteria tables with benches.  Thanks ladies! YOU ROCK!!!

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