Saturday, November 4, 2017

Back From Boston. I Said It Was Going To Be a Fast Trip (& It Was)

 I forgot that driving to Boston was so easy (two roads, really from Stratford to downtown). We made good time and sat down to teach before the Nellie Mae Foundation Lawrence O'Toole Teacher Leadership Awards. Of course, at the end of our meal, we started to smell smoke and then saw a car directly outside the restaurant (and our hotel) was in flames. The firetrucks had to rip open the hood with a claw and when they did, kaboom, the flames spread and they sprayed. It's lucky the glass of we were watching from didn't shatter.

Ah, but we were in Boston to see Mr. Shaun Mitchell awarded for his teaching leadership. He was recognized for his innovative teaching practices in Bridgeport and his work with the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield, along with 11 other educators from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The celebration was a wonderful reminder that excellent teachers do exist, to innovate instruction to meet the needs of kids, and do resist the sometimes inhibiting curriculum of States and districts.

The minute-long videos put together by the Nellie Mae team were phenomenal, and it was exciting to see students from each school and state talk about their award-winning teachers, too. It was also great to see administrators and colleagues talking fondly of the great teachers and the work they accomplish at their schools.

The "After School Special," a drink served for the occasion, threw me back to my Derby days because they reminded me of a Kentucky mint julep (but man, I hate drinking bourbon from a plastic cup). They were strong, though - Marge Hiller had to switch over to wine rather quickly.

Poor Shaun...he had to head to bed early and depart the hotel at 4 a.m. so he could be back at Sacred Heart University for his graduate course (as he earns an 092 in administration). I'm sure he will return this afternoon to his condo and simply fall asleep until Sunday morning.

And the drive home from Boston was smooth (not one road delay, which is highly unusual). The foliage was past its peak, but still held out some vibrancy to gawk at.

Now with the O'Toole award celebration over, it is full force ahead for NWP Annual Meeting and NCTE in St. Louis.. It's all about the pacing at this point, and keeping all the materials together for what needs to be accomplished.

I want a hotel bed and hotel pillows and a hotel blanket. I do not want their $27.99 a day Wi-Fi charge (they're crazy)

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