Saturday, February 25, 2012
And since we have been talking in second grade about being good friends, it made sense to share another favorite book with my friends in Mrs. Yess' class "One" by Kathryn Otoshi. The class had been to a Climb Theater presentation on bullying in the morning. This book was a wonderful way to connect their learning with the project I had in mind. After talking about what makes a great friend, the second graders went to work in our early childhood classrooms. It feels so good to do something nice for someone, even if you don't know them. Thanks to my second grade friends, we here at ECFE are all cleaned up and looking forward to the HOOTENANNY!!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
I wore one of my many aprons, not to cover a coffee spill but to emphasize the importance of a family meal. Eating dinner together is a great predictor of a students academic success. We talked about the forces that compete with that family time and shared encouraging tips to keep at it. Dinner time can be challenging but rewarding too.
My heart went out to the mom who talked about her regrets about buying her 5 and 7 year old each a DS for Christmas. She told me I could tell the whole world about how they have changed her families free time. I will, I promise. Thanks for a great evening!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
It was a celebration of education, teachers and the work we do in our unions. I was proud to represent Education Minnesota and am grateful for all of the professional opportunities I have had in the organization. Denise Specht, Tom Dooher, and Paul Mueller make up our Executive Board and are a hard working bunch. As you can see, they clean up pretty well too.
Karl Aaro is the Executive Director of Education Minnesota and a really cool guy. He is so kind to me and always interested in my stories of life as the MN TOY. We both struggled to finish our spinach last night. I was afraid that it would stick in my teeth and everyone would spot it on the jumbo tron. I am not sure what Karl's excuse was.
I wonder if my loyal blog followers will recognize....guess....take a stab at it....keep trying.....yes!! It is Jeanne Del Colle, the 2012 New Jersey Teacher of the Year! It was so great to see her again. We had dinner tonight and got all caught up on our lives since we met in Dallas. She is rocking it in Jersey like I am in Minnesota. Both of us feel so lucky to have the opportunity to represent all the great work teachers and students do in classrooms everyday. I think Minnesota misses us, she sent a hello today in the form of a crazy, windy, wintery day here in DC!
Friday, February 10, 2012
What a treat to be at Famous Luigi's for dinner on a Thursday night, they have a violinist! When he found out my name was Katy he sang "K-K-K-Katy" not once, not twice, but three times!!! I haven't heard anyone sing that song with such gusto since my dad died. He brought me champagne adorned with fireworks to make the evening a real celebration! I am off now to see a bit of the city before I meet the rest of the awardees in the lobby to head over to the gala. A GALA!! I can hardly believe that this is all happening to me. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I would do just about anything for those daughters of mine. Last weekend, the mission was ball gowns. As it turns out, being the NEA Teacher of Excellence and the Minnesota Teacher of the Year has some wardrobe challenges. My wardrobe consists of pants that toddlers paint and shirts that babies spit up on. I don't own a ball gown but needed one for the ball in Washington DC this spring. My daughter, Erin will be joining Matt and me in DC this week for the National Education Gala. She was needing a ball gown too. I picked up my pal Karen and we headed to the mall to meet up with Erin and go ball gown shopping! Erin nudged me to try on dresses that, on the hanger, were way out of my comfort zone. She urged me to keep trying things on. I have spent many hours in stores with daughters holding up clothing I am certain they would look fantastic in only to be shot down with giant eye rolls. No eye rolling this trip, thanks to Erin and Karen, I had a ball gown!
And oddly, a pair of SKINNY jeans! Both Erin and Abby (pictured above) insisted and wondered how on earth I have gotten by all these 51 years without a pair. Erin does a crazy, jumping dance to get into skinny jeans and showed me how it is done. Once in them, I wondered if I could count the experience as a workout had I put them on at the YMCA!
I am heading to Washington DC this week! This trip will not include meeting the President but I am counting the days. I will meet the Pearson Learning Fellows I will be traveling to China with this summer. How cool is that!? I will be busy with classes to prepare me and will blog along the way.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Miss Kelly and I have been friends for a long, long time. She has been inviting me to Pine Island for about eighteen years to speak to groups of parents. She, like so many ECFE teachers all across the state, is so excited about how my award has validated the work we all do with small children and their parents. ECFE is a great place to find support, great curriculum and the cutest kids in the state.