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Teacher of the Year Blog

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Teacher of the Year Blog

Out of all the blogs I have written, this is the most difficult.

I am ready to hand over the "crown" so another teacher can have this incredible experience as a TOY, but I think what I find difficult is how to put this year into words. As I reflect upon my year, it seems that the best way to describe it would be as an intense professional development. I was challenged to consider my philosophy of teaching and how it relates to larger issues, such as linking student performance to teacher evaluation and how to best measure that performance.

I loved every minute of being the HCPS TOY, from throwing out the first pitch at an Ironbirds game to waving to the crowd in Bel Air's 4th of July parade. I had the opportunity to participate in discussions regarding the Race to the Top initiative, meet with the Governor and legislators in Annapolis, and serve as a mentor through the Teachers of Promise Institute. I was privileged to spend three days on an island in the Chesapeake Bay inhabited by only 50 people. Next month, I am delighted to be able to attend a White House tour and also to participate in a Celebration of Reading with George and Barbara Bush.

However, I think what has been best about this year has been the opportunity to share ideas with people who love teaching and are passionate about making a difference in the lives of their students. I am so grateful for this past year that allowed me to learn how to be a better teacher. It has been a remarkable journey. Tonight, a new TOY will take his or her first step on the Teacher of the Year journey. Best wishes to our new TOY and to all of the outstanding Finalists!