Last night I found out that I won a Bammy Award for the education category of Education Support Staff.
I will state two things right away. First, the beauty of the Bammy Awards is that it is not really about winning a category. Rather it is the acknowledgement that educators ARE doing amazing things in schools despite the negative slants often given to schools in the media. Second, I am still quite humbled by the achievement, but when I look at my category in particular I am speechless.
Education Support Staff
- Maria Shaw
- Justin Tarte
- Sandra Paul
- Darrell Sampson
Look at those names. I crossed mine out because this is about the others. I follow all of these amazing people. I look to them for inspiration, guidance, ideas, and whatever else I can learn from them. This is the beauty of the Bammy Awards and community. It brings together people who can help one another. I often struggle at times to find people who have the will and backbone to challenge my thinking and ideas. I don’t believe that what I always think is right, but it is where I am at in that moment of time. I need people to challenge what I think and challenge me to think in new ways.
I am a life long learner and this holds true for every single person nominated and for many others not nominated.
I guess for me this whole event is not about being nominated or even winning. Rather, I hope it brings to light that there are so many amazing educators out there. Connect with them. Add them to your PLN. Reach out to them for help and be sure your share you ideas and projects in return.
I am not going to lie I was super bummed I could not attend the event and actually meet these people in person as I have not had the chance to meet many of them in person before. Perhaps one day.
For now I will use this as motivation to continue to support educators in any possible way that I can and realize educators need support more than ever before.
Thank you Bammy organization for the amazing honor and for every educator out there I hope you find inspiration to share and connect.
I would close this post with the following idea. I won for a category in which I support staff/educators. Really, the honor goes to the teachers I work with every single day. They are in the trenches of education battling the dragon of school. They never make everyone happy. Someone is always upset whether it is a student, teacher, community, parent, admin, or a combo of these people. Yet, they continue to push the boundaries. This push comes at their own pace and time, but they are doing it while still trying to find that balance of life. What it takes to do all of it could keep you locked away in your classroom for 20 hours a day if you let it happen.
I want to thank in particular all the teachers who I work with. They take time to listen to ideas that rattle my brain. We are having honest conversations. We don’t always agree, we don’t always walk away happy, but we are in this together to find out what truly offers the best education experience for students. Each day I become better at my job. I don’t always see it right away and the days of frustration sometimes put blinders over my eyes. When things like this award make you stop and pause you realize that what educators are doing is not only amazing but inspiring.
For this type of relationship to work you also have to have good administration. I feel blessed to have that as well. They listen, they adapt, and they let us be so that we can do our job. It really does take many people for education to work and missing any one piece can cause disaster. I am sure many schools and people have this amazing network where they work so make sure you take time to thank them. This goes down to the amazing custodians in our building who are always unlocking and locking doors for me and my students as we plug away on various projects until 9:00 at night and to the parents who drive kids all over. It really does take a village and despite hearing that over and over it is 100% true.
Last, I have to thank my wife who is also a teacher. Not only does she teach all day, but comes home to four kids(Me being one of them) and continues her teaching. She keeps me grounded. She reminds me what teachers go through each day so when I have these crazy ideas that keep me up all night she will bring me back down to reality. She is instrumental in everything I do as I usually don’t move forward on things without her blessing and critique. She never gives herself enough credit, but many of my ideas spawn from late night conversations with her when we have 5 minutes of silence from a long day of teaching and parenting.
In closing, this award is shared with the hundreds of people I work with every single day. Thank you.