These last two weeks have been the end of school slow down. I wasn't asked to speak at any commencement ceremonies, so I finally have some room to breathe. I did manage to take a day or two to catch up on backlogged things, like cleaning my apartment (although it needs a serious deep cleaning at this point) and doing laundry. It doesn't help that the teachermobile had to go in to have its steering column replaced after the power steering went out while moving at a rather high rate of speed while on I-295.
What I did have to accomplish this week was the scoring of another 65 applications, which took me THREE DAYS! It felt like I was grading final exams.
In the meantime, I had our final EPAC mtg of the year where we hashed out a lot of details. It has been a lot of learning, analysis, debate and thought provoking conversation, but I am glad I have been a participant. We need to have the teacher voice heard more often in policy decisions.
My other big events happened on Saturday. I got to give a short speech at the NJEA and NJ12 Scholar-athlete luncheon. NJ12 had done videos on all of the students, who had been featured as the scholar-athlete of the week on TV. The video clips showed their amazing accomplishments and how many were giving back by working with young people. When asked what they wanted to be, or what they were studying in college, almost all said business. Oh no! My talk consisted of warning them about life was about juggling, you have to know which balls bounce and which balls shatter. They were about to go into the great unstructured universe and they would be tempted. I also told them that they needed to surround themselves with mentors, because you never get too old to get good advice, and we teachers never stop caring. Lastly, I warned them that they had better be ready to fail because it was a matter of when and not if. Most of these kids had never failed at anything, and when it finally does happen what matters is how they handle it. Do you give up, take it out on others, or learn and adapt? I then made a plug for education, because from what I saw, these kids would make great teachers someday, and they already love working with young people! Education may not be as sexy or appealing as business, but they will get a lot more out of education than just a paycheck, so I encouraged all of them to take at least one education class in college. I was working hard to advance the profession!
I have put some miles on the teachermobile this year, (before it broke this week) but I thought that the mileage on the odometer was funny.
After a quick change into cocktail attire in the ladies room, it was off to the NJ Hall of Fame ceremony in Newark at the NJPAC (but only as an observer). It was a star studded evening and I even got to walk the red carpet and do some interviews. Michael Douglas was there being inducted, as was author Joyce Carol Oates, and the first African-American decathlon gold medal winner Milt Campbell and famed high school coach Bob Hurley. Several NJ greats were inducted posthumously including, Annie Oakley, Sara Vaughn and Christoper Reeve. We saw prior inductees like Buzz Aldrin, Michael Graves, and a great performance by Bucky Pizzarelli. Most famous of course were the 2011 and 2012 NJ STOYs looking fabulous and having a great time!
|NJPAC - A beautiful venue|
Two NJTSTOYS - with 2011 Danielle Kovach
|With fellow teacher after the show.|
|The Reeve children - as gracious as their parents.|
|The Sopranos - Added this one for Dad|
|Yes, that is David Cassidy. He thinks he loves me. :)|