Monday, January 23, 2012

Nominate someone today

Shhhhh ... can you keep a secret? I've nominated someone for an award. I won't name the person or the award (because I know how well secrets are kept when you announce them on the Internet) but I hope the person wins. I like nominating people for awards because it's a way to demonstrate my appreciation for what they do and how they go above and beyond the call of duty. Sometimes they win the prize, like my former principal Wayne Hamilton did in 2005 when he won the Ontario School Library Association's Administrator of the Year Award. He deserved it.

I can tell you what it's like from the other side of the fence, when you discover that someone thought you were worthy enough to submit your name for an award: it's humbling and wonderful. I received the Follett International Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award from the Canadian Library Association in 2008. Lisa Weaver phoned me at my home on a Sunday to give me the news and I remember plunking down on my stairs in disbelief and then shedding some tears of joy and shock. (The other great thing was I was flown out to Vancouver to receive my prize! It was my first time in British Columbia and it was a memorable experience.)

There are many different kinds of awards that you can nominate someone for. In the interest of full disclosure, I was asked by someone from the Ministry of Education who reads my blog ...

Yes, you read that last line correctly. Mini-tangent alert: I was surprised and delighted to learn that someone from the Ministry of Education actually reads my blog. I'm not talking Dalton McGuinty or anything like that but I never wrote this blog expecting it to get noticed. This must be like what my husband felt when he discovered that his blog was quoted by Forbes magazine or mentioned in the L.A. Times. It's almost like getting a nomination for an award in itself - authentic recognition. But enough of the digression; we return to our regularly scheduled blog post.

I was asked by someone from the Ministry of Education who reads my blog if I might consider reminding readers about the Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence. It's my pleasure to do so, because I've nominated a group of people for one of the categories in the past. They did not win but I hope that was because there were so many well-deserving, marvelous educators in Ontario. There are eight award categories. (The ones with asterisks are new awards for 2012.)
  • Teacher of the Year
  • New Teacher of the Year
  • Early Childhood Educator of the Year *
  • Excellent Support Staff
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Team of the Year
  • Full-Day Kindergarten Team of the Year *
 Nominations are open until February 6, 2012. Award recipients will be announced in the spring. The website has all the information you need about the criteria and process -
If you want to make someone's day (or week, or month, or year), take the time and nominate them. When I get around to it, I may reflect more on awards and badges (there was some great discussion around this year's Edubloggers Awards) but in the meantime, consider filling out one of those forms.

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