Florida's Teacher of the Year : In her own words
Written by Megan Allen
What a four months! My soul is so full from all the wonderful things that I have seen during the first part of my teacher of the year sabbatical. As the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador to Education, I am spending the year being the voice for teachers and students across the state. I am so proud to represent Florida's teachers and am giving it my all!
August 25, 2009. Normally I would be bouncing off the walls, classroom prepped, desks neatly arranged, and notebooks and supplies labeled with each child's name. But this year was different! The most difficult thing this year is being out of the classroom, but I am super-pumped to think of all the ideas I am collecting in my bag of tricks to apply with next year's batch of kiddos. I am calling this year my "sponge year," for I am working on soaking in all the fabulous best practices and ideas from teachers around the state and spreading the word from the Gulf to the Atlantic coasts.
My job description this year varies from day to day, but each moment shares a golden thread: education and our students. I've been to Tallahassee and am working with the Florida Department of Education on several initiatives, and I've visited universities to speak with our future teachers. I've walked the hallways at amazing schools, watching students tag monarchs or discuss how Yertle the Turtle relates to the Revolutionary War. I've presented at a State Board of Education meeting, a symposium on differentiated compensation, and vocalized my thoughts and questions on education to state legislators in Florida and in Washington, D.C. I have spoken at the FEA convention, the Florida PTA convention, and met national education leaders at Jeb Bush's Excellence in Action conference. And I am fine-tuning my technical side, podcasting and blogging my experiences on my website, http://www.redheadedteacher.com. I even had the pleasure of teaching county superintendents from across the state how to use iTouches and how to integrate iTunesU content into a lesson involving African- American history. But the best part is being able to take my past students with me on many of my adventures, seeing the world through their eyes.
I have met such an array of people, each one teaching me something new and leaving me with something to think about. One thing that I've realized through my travels is that there are so many wonderful things happening in schools all around us; it is such a blessing to be able to explore and share them.
For more information on how you can recognize our county's extraordinary teachers, click here.