Teacher of the Year Finalists

Top 5 O’ the Morning To Ya

Have you ever had a day that was just so amazing you didn’t know quite how to put it into words? A day that filled you with so much joy and left you smiling for days?

As educators, we have so many opportunities to impact the lives of others. While being a teacher is a worthwhile and much-needed profession, let’s face it, it isn’t a job for the faint of heart. This is why it is so important for us to remember that we are not only there to make a difference in the lives of our students, we are uniquely placed to be encouragers to those in our profession.

Thursday, March 7th was THE BEST DAY!

I woke up eager and excited for a day that would celebrate education and recognize amazing teachers in our district. While I knew the plan for the day and was anxious to get started, it wasn’t until the first stop to announce the first CCSD Top 5 finalist that I truly grasped how impactful this day was going to be not for just the Top 5, but for me. It wasn’t just the fact that I felt like Bob Barker on the Price is Right (don’t judge my notoriously nerdy love of game shows at an early age), it was something much bigger.

From the first stop to the last stop I was overwhelmed with a sense of togetherness, pride, and love. I saw students, teachers, and administrators lined up to celebrate and cheer on teachers as they were recognized for the difference they make not only in their classrooms but throughout our entire educational community. What a privilege it was to join in these celebrations and share in their recognition!

As I drove home that evening and reflected on the day, I thought about how wonderful it was to have this opportunity and develop a different perspective. The look of surprise, gratitude, and happiness on the faces of their family members, colleagues, and students is one I will never forget. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of hope, inspiration, and unity!

I began to think about how each day provides us with an opportunity to recognize those around us. What if every day was a celebration of teachers and their commitment to education? How can we recognize those who give so much and ask for so little in return? The journey begins with each of us. There are so many ways we can be the encouragers and supporters of those we work alongside every day. Whether it be in a smile, an encouraging post-it note, or a piece of chocolate (never underestimate the power of a piece of chocolate), we need to be “cheerleaders” for one another. We have to seek to see the best in one another, to be trustworthy and transparent, and to set aside our differences.

Stephanie Haecherl

We need to be supporters, encouragers, and champions for one another. We need to rise up as a community of educators and show the world that together we can accomplish anything! If we are ever going to spark change, public perception and have a chance to show our representatives and leaders that our input matters, we have to first start with what we “put into” one another.

Yes, announcing the Top 5 will always be one of my favorite days but not just because it is a celebration of outstanding teachers all across the district. It is a day that represents how every day can be “Top of the Morning” if we realize our highest point comes when we help others on the journey.

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