Yesterday, as I finished off the last of the candy from my Florida “excursion” goody bag and tried to organize all the stuff I’ve collected during the summer and as I prepare to present at my first professional development days of the new school year later this week, I found myself feeling very grateful. Though I have been retired for a full academic year now, I had the busiest and most rewarding summer of learning in my life.
I got to help stuff all three of our DEN summer institute goody bags and am intimately aware of all the thought and care that went into sharing mementoes of each participants’ geographic area and educational duties. From clever poems and hand-made souvenirs, to post cards, bookmarks, and all matter of rocks and shells that tell a story, each bag was quite a lesson in history and geography. And on top of that there were those great projects and “cruising with the stars” tidbits. Thank you for taking the extra time in your already busy professional life to be an active member in a vibrant network of learners who help to make education come alive for so many students.
But the biggest thanks has to go out to our institute queen and chief organizer, Jannita Demian. Most of you know what it’s like to put together a staff development day in your district and I bet many of you are involved in preparing and supporting your local and state conferences. You can imagine what it’s like taking your one week show and all it’s equipment on the road to share in three states! As Darcy White put it, “Bezerkeley!” So a big “WHOO-HOO!” and the coveted finger of appreciation to Jannita for pulling and holding us all together this summer.