Two Black Shoes

So, I was trying to think of something positive to post because my first post with a student tag fails to exemplify my real attitude towards my little cherubs and my job.  I love my job.  However, exhaustion has set in after a long day of work, so instead of writing something new I decided that polishing off a short speech I gave last year would suffice.  In August 2015 I spoke at a luncheon to a room full of teachers that were named their schools’ Teacher of the Year.  It was to celebrate them all, of course, but to especially recognize the District Teacher of the Year.  Here it is:

“This morning as I left my house and hit the light of day I saw that I was wearing 1 blue and 1 black shoe.  Luckily I caught it this time.  I have gone to school like this in the past…so, having caught it – I knew it was going to be a good day – nothing can set a negative tone quite like mismatched shoes.

First, I would like to say congratulations to all of the Teachers of the Year today.  If you would please humor me, I would like for each of you to please take a moment, close your eyes and sear this day of celebration into your memory, because today we celebrate all of you. As you sit there – eyes closed and in your own head – scream, hoot, holler, and shout out how awesome your are.  You are awesome because all of your colleagues chose you to represent their school.  Your colleagues believe that you exemplify what it means to be a great teacher.  Now, when you open your eyes, tuck all that awesomeness away in a special place.

Then, during this next school year when you are dealing with that difficult parent, or trying to reach that far away child; when a frustrated colleague maybe forgot how awesome you are (pause for laughter), or if you accidently wear 2 different shoes to school…Just close your eyes, take a deep breath and unpack that nugget.  It should pull you through.

I would also like to thank Mr. Havird and all of District One for allowing me to serve on this leadership path of growth, humility, and inspiration.  It has been a true blessing and an honor.

Finally, I raise a (water) glass to Mr. Matthew Truesdale in congratulations.  One district teacher of the year does not always personally know the next.  I am very fortunate to call Matthew a colleague, even more so to call him a friend.  Matthew, congratulations – I wish you the best on this year’s journey.  Please know that you have always inspired me be a better teacher and a better person – and may you always wear 2 matching shoes.”

Short and sweet.  So, I really did don the wrong shoes that very morning.  And I wrote the speech in about 20 minutes – after they announced my friend’s name that morning.  Inspiration can be found in the darnedest places.

Thanks for reading my post! Be sure to follow me on fields of poppies



Author: Jennifer Bertram

I teach. I travel. I read. I love. I live. I learn. I create.

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