Returning after a two day absence, because life got a little busier this week.
About 1.5 weeks ago I found out I was nominated for an award, and the awards event was Thursday night. I went with no expectation of being chosen, as there were many nominees. I don’t usually have wine but I was nervous and gulped down a small cabernet sauvignon. I thought about the heels on my boots and how I would be standing for a long time (I’m usually a comfortable-shoes type of person). Luckily I saw some friendly faces soon after I arrived. My principal and vice principal showed up to cheer me on as well.
When the event started, they began with the outstanding volunteer award. The winner was asked to give a speech and I gulped. If I were to win, I would have to give a speech to this large crowd??? My vice principal teased that I had better get my speech ready. I said I had no idea what I would say, and my principal joked that I should do it in Spanish because then half the crowd wouldn’t understand me anyway. I felt my face start burning and I said, Uh oh. I am starting to feel the wine I drank! My vice principal joked that maybe another wine would help.
When I won later, I was totally shocked. The announcer pretended to do an Oscar “wrong envelope” move on me, which I totally fell for at first. When I was handed the microphone, I managed to say a few lines about how much I appreciate the support my school leadership and district is showing for work around equity and supporting immigrant families. The district superintendent gave me a few hugs and shared words of encouragement. A sweet elderly retired teacher took my hands and congratulated me, and shared how meaningful it was to hear that I help with the school garden.
After that, I wanted to run right out of the building. I am not used to public recognition in front of crowds. I started walking toward the door after giving hugs and taking a few photos with the handful of people I knew there. I stopped to talk to someone near the door and a guy said that I was supposed to stay for official photographs. Duh! I did my duty and left, my face still burning, the slight aroma of sweat wafting up from my coat. My apple watch registered a highly unusual number of calories burned, so my heart rate must have been working overtime. By 11 pm, three hours later, my face finally started to cool down.
Since then, I have clearly seen the competing messages inside my head about whether I deserved it or not. My meditation practice (and partner) have been very helpful in reminding me to drop any negative thoughts. There are countless numbers of amazing teachers, many of whom have mentored me or work alongside me. May we all receive recognition for our passion, dedication and love for children.