I’ve Been Flash Mobbed!
The minute a group of important people paraded into my classroom with balloons and gifts, I was a goner. Hand to mouth, eyes filled up, shaking like a leaf, I knew something amazing was about to happen.
Through a fog of excitement, I listened as Ernie Holcomb, our Falmouth Education Association President, read a proclamation of sorts. He was reading about my work in social media, with a particular focus on Pinterest and how it relates to my classroom and the classrooms of others. The National Education Association had somehow found me and my Pinterest boards, and all these folks were here to honor me? There were hugs, and tears, and a chorus of “Happy Birthdays!” from some of my students, (though my birthday is in January).
Besides Mr. Holcomb, I was surrounded by my principal, Donna Noonan, Superintendent Marc Dupuis, and members of the FEA, MTA, School Committee, Cape Cod Times, my awesome teaching team of Nicole Bell and Marjorie Price, and a few teachers who were able to slip in at the right time. My anxiety skyrocketed, and I was thankful for all the smiling faces and kind words.
It was only a matter of seconds before they had me seated in a chair, gift in lap, surrounded by my beloved class, all toting iPads. They were snapping photos and videos faster than you can say “cheese”, and they captured all of my teary, confused, overwhelmed, thankful smiles. It was around that time that I asked who I should be sending thank you notes to, and that’s when I finally heard what this wonderful group had been trying to tell me…
I was the surprise recipient of a NEA Pinterest Inspiration Box for my hard work sharing resources, strategies, and creative ideas with teachers all over the world. I was told that I was one of only 5 recipients chosen from a national membership of over 3 million teachers. I still don’t think that number has sunk in, yet. I took a few minutes to open the box (which is a BIG question these past few days – what was in the box??) and showed the kids the contents therein. Many of the items were chosen from my Pinterest boards, with me as a recipient in mind. Among other items, there was a Kindle Fire with an Otterbox case (good thing, I’m a bit clumsy), a Cyclops watch, a silver necklace that says Dream on it, a Staples gift card, a coffee maker, and a beautiful NEA bag that will be heading to Alaska with me this summer. The one that made me giggle was the gorgeous leather iPhone wallet case. You think it might be time for me to ditch the flip-phone? HEE!
Being the Googler I am, I searched for the other recipients and found one – Amanda Nickerson (HERE is her blog). My guess is that the three other awardees haven’t received the Publisher’s Clearninghouse-type parade in their classrooms, yet. It will be fun to search them out and congratulate them as well. With the caliber of teachers on Pinterest, I can only imagine how difficult it was to choose only 5. There are fabulous teachers doing amazing things all over the country, and I hope the folks “Out There” know that.
Thank you so much to the folks at the National Education Association (NEA). Your idea to honor teachers in this way had a profound effect on me, and I’m sure others will now explore the idea of using social media as a resource for professional development. Thank you also to everyone who helped to make this happen. From what I understand, there were secrets to keep, and keep them, they did! I was INCREDIBLY surprised and didn’t have a clue what was happening until halfway through the surprise. Nicely done, Secret Keepers, nicely done.
Update! Teacher number three: found! Josie Smolka from New Jersey! View her article, here!
Update again! I found Teacher number four! Courtney Bertsch-Martin! Here’s a YouTube video of her big day: