Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It is Finished! (emphasis on the "ish")

Los Angeles, CA


In the words of Jesus:  “It is finished!”


Of course, after he said that, he died.  And even then, he kept working.  For a couple thousand more years.  I have a feeling my job will continue to linger on like this, too.  But it’s important work, so that’s okay.


It’s just nice to have passed this major milestone.  Actually, we’re still on the runway, so I’m technically not quite there yet.  But pretty darn close!


And… liftoff!  I have risen!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

24 Little Hours

Redmond, OR


Well, this is it.  My last official trip as National Teacher of the Year / Slave-to-Whoever-Wants-Me.  It seems like just yesterday that I was… ah, hell with it.  It’s been a looong year, and I have made one heck of a journey.


I wish I was feeling more reflective, but I’m not.  At least not yet.  I still have another 8 or 9 events scheduled for June, and a few more peppered throughout the summer, so I’m not really feeling done.  Jen was smiling pretty big, though, when she dropped me off at the airport today.  I think for her this really marks the end of an extremely long year of single-parent motherhood.  It marks the beginning of a more normal life together.  And if not “normal,” then at least together!


Will I miss it?  Probably some of it.  Definitely the unique opportunities it brought, the wonderful friends I’ve made along the way, and the Odwalla juice smoothies that I can expense while traveling.  But it’s not over, and these opportunities will continue to present themselves.  Only this time I’ll be able to choose Yes or No.


Life will never be “normal” for us again, but I think all four of us are looking forward to a time of family, friends, and community.  Just 24 more little hours…


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

De Belt

Reno, NV


I’m either getting rusty or I’m getting weary.  I’ve been through how many TSA checkpoints this year?  And now I have finally set off the beeper.  Culprit: belt.




Must have been the mild seizure I was experiencing from all the flashing slot machines in the airport.  Ah… Nevada.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Winding down

Redmond, OR


Things are finally starting to wind down a bit.  Now that the 2009 National Teacher of the Year has been announced and the school year is starting to wind down, my schedule is finally beginning to ease.  Only a few more engagements in May and my official reign will be over.  (Then my lucrative career as an inspirational speaker, best-selling author and, of course, as the subject of this summer’s next blockbuster will begin.  Just kidding.  We’re going to Wyoming.)


I’ve been home for the past few days doing normal-guy stuff again: chaperoning my daughter’s field trip, doing volunteer work, working in the yard… It’s been good for me.  Of course, now it’s hard to get motivated to hit the road again and live in this other world I’ve inhabited for the past year.  I’m ready to be normal again.


So a few more events in May, then a fairly busy travel schedule in June, and then some normalcy will return for a few weeks in July and August.


After that, back to the classroom, and the real work begins.