In addition to visiting the White House and meeting the President of the United States, the PAEMST winners were treated to several other fun events. We were invited to a sneak preview of the movie “The Cosmos” at the National Geographic building. The movie put a very clever spin on the creation of our planet and all that surrounded it.
We were also taken to the National Science Foundation, which is the organization that sponsors the award. There we were thanked again for all that we do for our students and encouraged to use our newly elevated status to promote good teaching practices and support policy for our students and our schools on a local, regional, and national level.
We were also lined up here to take yet another group photo. You would think that a group of teachers would be able to organize ourselves into this group quickly and efficiently, but no. I am pretty sure that teachers make the worst listeners! Good thing we are good teachers!
On our final day, we were treated to an awards ceremony held at the National Academy of Science. Yet another beautiful building in Washington D.C. We were each honored individually and given a certificate that bears the president’s signature. And yet again, assembled to take another group photo. The photographer must have learned his lesson. He just had us stay in our seats this time!
As I reflect on this entire adventure, I am humbled by the group of winners that I am now a part of. I also feel honored to have my name placed next to people who are considered to be the best of the best. Most of all, however, I feel a sense of urgency to take the knowledge and power that comes along with this title to help make the educational system in our country the best it has ever been. As I write this, I have yet to determine exactly how I am going to do this. All I do know is that my will is strong and where there is a will, there is a way!