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Sunday, September 14, 2014

First Day of School for the 25th Time

We all know the first day of school is special no matter what! But this first day was extra special - for the teacher!

Each year before our students return to school, the teachers and staff from our district gather one morning for a "Welcome Back" meeting.  Here, we learn about new initiatives, professional development opportunities as well as what transpired during the summer in the area of research & development.

Besides catching up with fellow educators we haven't seen for a while, my favorite parts of the meeting include recognizing the New staff (who are asked to stand and be welcomed) and celebrating those educators who have been servicing students for 25 years.

This year was a little more exciting than others as this year is MY twenty-fifth year of teaching (as well as about 6 other colleagues!) During the summer I received a letter from the Superintendent of Schools asking if I preferred to be recognized privately or at the meeting.  Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about teachers being recognized publicly - I'm ALL OVER IT! (Apparently my colleagues were all over it too, as they decided to receive their recognition at the meeting as well!)

(In a field where one's efforts can often lead to feelings of under-appreciation, it's nice to have the opportunity to be validated, especially in front of one's peers.  For newcomers who are starting out their journey in this profession, it's important to see the longevity of their new colleagues, which shows loyalty and dedication.)

Walking down the auditorium isle as my name was called, tears in my eyes, I felt incredible pride at the thought of serving the community (where I grew up!) for the last 25 years!  As I heard the applause and the hooting & hollering (not generally allowed at assemblies in our school) I couldn't help but hope that everyone in that room would one day have the chance to be making that same walk toward the superintendent to receive their 'pin' for 'dedicated service'. 

The celebration has continued (probably because I don't want to let one single moment go by without sharing my excitement with others).  I carry my pin with me and whip it out to show ANYONE who is interested in seeing the recognition one receives after 25 years!  Beyond the pin, I hope people feel the passion, enthusiasm and love I have for being an elementary school teacher after all these years!  After all, it's the BEST profession in the world!

I'll leave you with one last thought.  Saw this Tweet on Twitter at the start of school. Tina sure has it right....

Here are some resources that pertain to the topic of recognizing teachers publicly...

The Power of Positive Employee Recognition
Awards, Competitions & Grants for Teachers
Teachers are Heroes - Inforgraphic

(Slate Clipart:


  1. Fantastic!

    First, congratulations to you for reaching such a momentous milestone in teaching.

    Second, Congrats to the Walpole MA School System for recognizing such an accomplishment and for having the foresight to hire such a dedicated professional 25 years ago!

    Third, Mrs. Carroll, you rock! I have heard first hand from many of your former students over the years how you have touched their lives in a positive way.

    I'm sure the past 25 years have not always been easy, but, as any true professional, you make it look that way.

    It is crystal clear how much you care about your students and your Boyden family. I see how much they care about you. Year after year, you make sure you are not only abreast of the current trends and technological advances but are quick to share your knowledge with others.

    Congrats Nancy! Great post!

    1. Thank you Carol Ann for your compliments. I truly do love my students and all the connections I have made over the years. Every year is a NEW year for me - as I try not to teach the same things the same way. Just really can't imagine doing anything else and feel very lucky to have been part of this community for so long.

      As always, I appreciate your support and comments.

  2. Nancy,
    You have been dedicated to your school and students and they are lucky to have you.
    25 years! I will bet that those years just flew by. Congratulations!

    1. Hi Vinny,
      I dare say the years have 'flown' by. I remember a colleague once saying, "before you know it you'll be ten years at this job". At the time, I couldn't even picture ten years down the road, let alone 25! (Still feel like a new teacher though, every first day of school!).
      Thanks for taking the time to comment Vin!

  3. Congratulations on 25 years and thank you for dedicating yourself to so many children over the years. You are an inspiration. :)

    1. Thank you Amanda for your kind comment! I am inspired by all the teachers I have met in person and online!



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