A Slice of Life is a weekly blog hosted by a couple of wonderful writing teachers. Click on Two Writing Teachers to learn about this wonderful writing community, and how to use it to build a community of writers in your classroom!
Yes, it is good to be home. I missed my family and my routine. However, the opportunity to be pampered, honored, and yes - valued at the Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher's Academy (MEMTA), is one I will never forget. It wasn't just that they (Exxon Mobil, the National Science Teacher's Association, and Math Solutions) wined and dined us, and provided the most amazing accommodations at the Hyatt Regency, Jersey City Hotel, and the Liberty Science Center - it was that they kept telling us over and over, "You are great teachers. We value you. You are important and that is why we are doing this." I can't recall every feeling so appreciated and respected in my entire teaching career, and next year will be my twentieth year.
They valued and respected me enough as a teacher to provide state of the art professional development. They invested in me. That is such a key word for me. The five days of outstanding training that was provided sent a message that said, "We respect you and your abilities enough to put our money on you. We know you will take this and use it to serve kids." I see far too much requirement in my teaching, and little or no investment. Perhaps this is what made this experience stand out.
Finally, I met some of the most amazing, intelligent, and friendly people. To top it off - they were just plain kind. There was no professional jealousy (at least that I could see), no one-upmanship, and no snarky or negative comments. These were top-notch teachers at the top of their game, and they acted like the professionals that they are. We were there to support each other's learning. And that is exactly what we did. I have met some people that I hope I can maintain contact with, and always call "friend."
I wish that every teacher could have this experience, particularly our young ones. I believe it would give them hope for the future. We need more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) training like this, more investment in our teachers, and more kindness towards each other and our individual journeys. It is my profound hope for our students, and the profession that I love, that we will one day get there.