* Sunday, October 17, I attended the Belin/Blank International Center for Gifted Education's recognition ceremony at the University of Iowa. Two of my student were being honored, and every student gets to choose a teacher that has impacted their education to be honored with them. It was a lovely ceremony, and each of the approximately 400 students being honored were called across the stage to receive award. We teachers were called with them. It was a wonderful honor to be recognized by these two boys. Another student of mine chose our elementary TAG teacher to honor, so the two of us drove up together. We were proud to be there. Nine guests gave speeches including Senator Charles Grassley and the National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling. It was a lovely afternoon.
* After the ceremony, I hightailed it with my colleague to Des Moines. We spent Monday and Tuesday at the Iowa Talented and Gifted state conference. There were some really big names there in the world of gifted education like George Betts, Nick Colangelo, and Marcia Gentry. It's always such a great conference. It not only gives me new information for the classroom, but it helps restore my vision & beliefs. There are so many things that chip away at what I believe as a teacher of gifted students... No Child Left Behind, being a School in Need of Assistance, building rules, day to day obligations... they all take a toll. I sometimes need to be refreshed among people who have a passion for gifted ed. I always come away invigorated and ready to take on the world. :)
* That same week, I learned of the death of my high school choir director, Lee Spann. This man really influenced my life. I LIVED for choir and drama in high school, so I was with him at least once a day (sometimes 4-5 times a day) for every single day of my high school career. His wife, Idella, is my second favorite teacher of all time. She taught my 8th grade honors English class, and she's probably THE reason I fell in love with teaching middle school. The two of them together made more of an impact on my life than any couple other than my parents. I was honored to be asked to participate in Lee's service last weekend in Omaha. I sang with a couple of different groups. It was great performing with my friend Travis from high school and seeing so many former choir members and A.L. teachers. Lee fought the brave fight against cancer, and his legacy will live on.
* The Hawkeyes made it tough on us against Wisconsin, but Saturday against Michigan State more than made up for it. It was a PERFECT day at Kinnick Stadium with beautiful, sunny fall weather, a raucous crowd, and a huge win for the Hawks. Only one home game left for the Hawkeye Mornin' Crew, and we'll be celebrating in style with steaks before the Hawkeyes play Ohio State.
* This week is conference week... it's always crazy, but I enjoy meeting the parents of my students. I also enjoy having Friday off! :)
We're almost done with Monday, everyone! Have a great week!