Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's Bigger than Mr. B

You can click the picture to vote.
Wow! What an honor. Connie Hamilton (@conniehamilton) direct messaged me on Twitter this evening to ask for my email address. I happily provided it and she told me to await a surprise. 

About fifteen minutes later, I get an email stating:

Congratulations, Justin Birckbichler has been 
nominated for a Bammy Award in the category of 
Elementary School Teacher of The Year 
by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

I was deeply honored, and didn't know how best to approach this. Obviously, I wanted to get the word out, but I didn't feel right posting, "Hey go vote for me here!"

After researching the Bammy Awards, I noticed that the defining characteristics of a Bammy are to "recognize the collaborative nature of education, to encourage respect in and across the various domains, to raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field and to elevate educators, education and the value of life-long learning in the public eye." It dawned on me that I am the educator I am today due to a number of influential people in my life. My nomination should be paired with recognition for them. 

In no particular order:
  • The school community (teachers, administrators, parents, and students) at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary Schools and Warren County Public Schools. Everyone I come into contact with has shaped my career. I have learned from them, been inspired, borrowed a lesson, or been fortunate enough to have helped them in their classroom. The students fill me with joy as they learn and grow, and many parents are eager to help support their developing child. I owe a large debt of gratitude to all parties. They all have my back, are open to collaboration, and are willing to let me try new instructional practices.
  • The undergraduate professors and cooperating teachers at Shippensburg University. Without them, I would not have gained the professional knowledge needed to excel in this field. They provided me with the support and expertise I needed.
  • The graduate mentors at Western Governors University. They have provided guidance along the way and supported me tenfold throughout my journey towards attaining my MSCIN.
  • My teachers growing up, especially my second grade teacher Mrs. Ghessi. They formed the foundation for my entering in the field of education. I fondly look back on many of them and try to structure my instruction around the ways I can best emulate their practice.
  • My Twitter/Voxer PLN. They constantly provide me with a sounding boards, new ideas, and ways to grow. As mentioned in my blog post about being a connected educator, they have revitalized my love for teaching.
  • My family. From providing me with a place to live, ensuring I get the best education, and generally unconditionally supporting me, my family always pushes me to reach my maximum potential. 
As you can see, there have been a number of individuals who have shaped my role as an educator. It is an incredibly humbling honor to have been nominated for Elementary Teacher of the Year in the 2015 Bammy Awards. This is bigger than just me. It is not me who deserves the credit; it is all of the above mentioned people. If you choose to vote for me for this prestigious honor, it is them who you are recognizing. 

Please help me to vote for them by visiting this link

Thank you. 

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