Ever wonder what it would be like to find the golden ticket in a Wonka candy bar? Let me tell you, it is a moment of Everlasting Gobstoppers and Fizzy Lifting Drinks! On Monday, April 11, 2016, I received an invitation from the President to attend a celebration at the White House to celebrate and thank the National Teacher of the Year, State Teachers of the Year, and Great Educators.
Clearly thinking like a librarian, I dismissed this as a hoax, being that there was no way to verify the source or validate the information. Hey, maybe I’m old fashioned but I thought things like these were delivered by special courier and not through email! Boy, was I surprised in the days to come as I received word that this was indeed genuine. I had been selected as one of the great educators to be honored, the school librarian representative. Suddenly my life became interesting and everyone wanted to know more about me, the award, and my accomplishments as a librarian.
Over the next several weeks, school librarianship became a news sensation. Word spread of the wonderful things we do and the lessons that we instruct. Student achievement and the impact librarians have on teaching and learning was being discussed and promoted through the media. Social media also publicized the award and by doing so sparked a conversation of support for librarians nationally.
The trip to the White House was an experience to remember. To attend a party where we celebrate education is rare, but being honored equally as an educator on par with other subject areas is unheard of. In attendance were great educators from all disciplines and together we make a difference for the staff and students we service. As we met each other, we networked, exchanged many great ideas, and marveled at the accomplishments and ingenuity of teachers in the field.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime event. It is unfortunate that a celebration of this magnitude comes only with the executive order of the President. Education should be celebrated often, with recognition given to all of the great things that teachers accomplish in the classroom. This definitely includes school librarians who are leading the way through collaborative partnerships and innovative curriculum design.
It was an honor to be chosen to represent librarians nation wide, I am humbled and grateful for the nomination. Thank you for a wonderful experience and the opportunity to share with the nation why librarians are great educators! Mahalo!