Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DC Recognition Week - The Vice Presidential Mansion

It's hard not to wonder, when standing in the foyer of the Vice President's house, whose feet might have stood in the exact spot I am now standing.  What might they have been discussing?  Was it small talk or were they working to address some of the gravest dangers of their time?  As a fan of American history, I love imagining the past, creating images in my mind that evoke powerful feelings of patriotism, pride, and respect.  Mostly, I found myself in awe of the incredible opportunity to enjoy and appreciate this unique honor and opportunity.

As an educator, I also was impressed with the Second Lady's incredible personal teaching story.  After over thirty years of working in schools, she still makes the choice to teach.  Having moved beyond high school, she is now working in higher education.  But she doesn't teach at an Ivy League school, or even a state college.  Mrs. Biden teaches at a community college; working with immigrants, single parents trying to make it, and the underprivileged.  I came into this meeting terribly uninformed about my host.  I left feeling inspired and empowered by her story.

Monday, April 28, 2014

DC Recognition Week - Opening Reception and Monument Tour

Did you ever look down upon what happens at the US Capitol Building?

Its a trick question... but after last nights reception with Education Policy, I can answer the literal version of the question with a definite "Yes!"  You see, myself and the other state and territorial representatives for the National Teacher of the Year Program were able to enjoy an incredible sunny afternoon from one of the premier hobnobbing spots in DC.  After eating delicious food and catching up with good (albeit very) new friends, we were escorted to the roof of the building, where a panoramic view awaited us.

The energy and enthusiasm of this entire group is incredible!  There are so many interesting, dynamic, and engaged individuals that it makes it hard to pull yourself away from conversation at night to make sure that you get the requisite sleep to be ready for all of the adventures of the following day.  Today, I get to spend the day getting a behind the scenes tour at the Smithsonian before heading to the Vice Presidents home, where we'll be received by Dr. Jill Biden herself!  Wow!