Humble Nominations


I just got nominated for Teacher of the Year for my district again this year. I’m not going to win or anything because there are the “dinosaurs of teaching” who have far more wisdom and professional development under their belts. It’s just neat to feel appreciated. The way it’s been going I hope I don’t get depressed the year I don’t get nominated!
Anyway, I like to think that good teachers are “standing on the shoulders of giants,” so to speak. It is because of those who have gone before me and have had the patience to try new things and teach me what works…they are the reason I am a good teacher.
Some really important people to my development as a teacher include:
Stephen Whiting (my dad). Seriously, my dad is teaching people stuff all the time and he does so in a really cool way that makes it seem as though you thought up everything yourself. He asks questions, plays devil’s advocate, and prepares things to help you to learn. He has so much joy…just his smile has taught me so much about teaching. Not to mention his incredible work ethic.
Jodi Domstrand (teacher at Valentine Hills Elementary). I did my elementary student teaching with her. She was just awesome! She had so much joy for her job and was very thoughtful. She let me try all kinds of new things with her Art program. She also taught me what I think is one of the most valuable lessons I learned before entering the work force: Don’t become an island. In other words, I need to work to develp relationships with other people at my work site. That means eating lunch in the teachers’ lounge. That means making other people at your school look good by involving them in your programs. That means seeking out others that you could help and helping them. That means greeting people with a smile and asking how their day went. She’s way better at it than me. But, the lesson is very important.
Steve Brink, Rick Hutchison, and Kevin Gilbertson: These are the poor souls that had to put up with me during my first year teaching. We worked together at Centennial Middle School and I learned a ton from watching them, asking them questions, joking around…all that. They are an awesome group of guys.
And others…Kate Merkel, Katherine Churchill, Dale Johnson, Peggy Little, MaryAnn Carlson, Mark Quinlan. These are all people that supported me, encouraged me, taught me. Great people.
So, thank you to all of the giants who have allowed me to stand on their shoulders.