Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prime Minster's Awards for Teaching Excellence

Receiving my pin from
Prime Minister Steven Harper 
Last week, I had the honour of accepting the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in Ottawa. I am overwhelmed and still in shock that I have been recognized with such a prestigious award. I love my job and I do the work that I do because it is one of my passions. I would like to thank my nominators and supporters for putting my name forward as I know preparing a nomination package for this type of award is very time consuming. For more information about my award, please visit my biography and award description from the PMA's website.

Receiving my award
at the PMA's ceremony
In the fall of 2010, a parent of one of my students approached my principal to nominate me for this award based on the work that I had done during the 2009-10 school year. They worked as a team to put my name forward by collecting numerous letters of support from various colleagues and statements from students. Reading a copy of the nomination package after it was submitted was an honour in itself. I wish all of my colleagues could have a similar document written about their work as it is something that I will always treasure.

Along with a cash award that I will get to spend on my students and my professional development, my prize included a 6-day trip to Ottawa for the awards ceremony, a meeting with the Prime Minister, a group dialogue session with the Governor General, a presentation from a Canadian Astronaut and other events. Part of my week in Ottawa was spent participating in a two-day exemplary practices session with the other winners of this award. Here is the presentation that I made to my fellow recipients:

The award recipient this year are outstanding and it was a real privilege to get to know them during our week in Ottawa. I invite you to visit their biographies to check out what they are doing at their schools. There is also a great resource on the PMA website that includes descriptions and ideas about exemplary practices from this year (will be posted soon) and for previous years. I think it is a resource that isn't as well utilized as it could be and well worth the time to check it out.

Finally, if you know an outstanding Canadian educator who deserves recognition, please take the time to nominate them. The nominations are now open for the  2011-12 award.