“…and the new Oregon Teacher of the Year is… (envelope please)… a science teacher named Michael!” What a kawinkydink! Except our 2009 representative, Michael Lampert, teaches high school in West Salem. And he’s been to Antarctica.
I’m thrilled for him, and look forward to meeting and working with him. From what I’ve read and seen, he sounds like a remarkable guy! When they announced his selection at a surprise assembly, his students definitely thought so!
But I also feel a slight twinge of pain for him, for his life will never quite be the same. He will meet new people, be exposed to ideas, and be asked to step into a new role that will stretch him like never before. I think he’ll handle it marvelously.
Each state handles their Teacher of the Year program a bit differently. Some teachers have a yearlong sabbatical (about a dozen states and the national teacher,) while others, like Oregon, remain full-time in the classroom. Some receive large cash prizes and a car for the year, while others, like Oregon, are more modest (we receive $3,000 dollars from Intel.) Some are highly scheduled, sought after, and publicized, while others, like Oregon, each make what they want of the position.
From the little I know about Michael Lampert, he’ll make the most of it, and I will encourage him to do so. Teachers and students need to make their voices, stories and ideas heard, and Michael will have an attentive audience this year!
Congratulations, Michael, and be bold!