glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.
As I sit in a Starbucks (with less than reliable internet capabilities )somewhere on or around the Washington-Idaho border the day after Thanksgiving….I am most definitely filled with thanks. I’m filled with the thanks that I often feel at this time of year of course; thankful for my loving family who I have the luxury of visiting this weekend. I am thankful for my supportive husband who understands my tendencies to work too much, give too much, and say yes too much. I am thankful for amazing friends and coworkers. This year, however, I am overwhelmed by gratitude towards you; my fellow teachers.
A couple weeks ago (has it been that long!?) on Tuesday, November 11th, the first regional ECET2 Puget Sound event took place at the beautiful Cedarbrook Lodge. ECET2 stands for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching, and represents all that supports high-level teaching, professional learning for educators, and a sense of teacher ownership and voice in the field. ECET2 represents a mindset that is so desperately needed. It represents celebrating and honoring teachers who are making a difference in kids’ lives each and every day.
Almost a hundred talented and inspiring educators gathered that day, having been invited by an individual or organization based purely on their passion for making a difference and their capacity for teacher leadership. These teachers, who came from all over the Puget Sound area, gave up a day that could have been spent with family (or grading, planning, prepping) to inspire and be inspired, share their knowledge and experience, and collaborate with other highly effective educators. They worked collaboratively to find solutions or supports for each other when faced with typical problems of practice (limited resources, negative environments, relevant professional learning). I was inspired by their energy and excitement to elevate their practice during the breakout sessions presented on topics such as student centered classrooms and using Twitter as a professional learning tool. I saw looks of encouragement and determination on their faces when listening to Amy Abrams (2013 Puget Sound Teacher of the Year) and Nathan Gibbs-Bowling (Milken Educator Award Winner) deliver tear jerking and awe-inspiring keynote speeches. The level of educational expertise in the room was palpable, and I am thankful to have been a part of it.
There are over 6 million teachers in this country alone. Even with that fact, this job can feel so completely isolating. On that day; Tuesday, November 11th, isolation was nowhere to be seen or felt. I am thankful to have almost 100 new colleagues, sources of resources, and friends. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of the ECET2 community.