Today I emailed & said thank you repeatedly. There was nothing else.
I started teaching 10 years ago. My first goal was to make it through the first year. Then to make it through the 5th year. Then I just wanted to balance being a mom and teacher. Suddenly I made it to my 10th year of teaching. 10 classes of 20ish students. All shapes and sizes, all kinds of behaviors. 10 years of field trips, awards ceremonies, staff meetings. 10 years of creating relationships that will allow me to reach the unreachable.
My peers voted me today teacher of the year for the 2013-2014 school year. Which caused all this thinking. Here's my advice.
Take care of your life in this order:
Self, husband, children-- Nourish yourself. When you do your students will know. You will be a much better teacher to your students and to your fellow teachers. Be a part of a team, it's harder to argue with a group. Be ready to go teach a whole lesson but be ready for a fire drill, temper tantrum, and anything else in between. Be graceful and thank everybody all the time. Fight for your students and teachers. You might be the only voice.