I have been going in circles the last few days, thinking out loud, pulling my hair a little bit. Nothing new if you ask my husband, but I am finally at a point where I feel ready to write about it. You see, I was nominated for 2 Bammy Awards this year. One as elementary education teacher of the year, the category I was up for last year as well, and new this year as education commentator/blogger. To those who don’t know me or know this blog, this wouldn’t seem like a bad thing. After all, being nominated for anything is an honor really. But the Bammys and I have a little bit of a history after last year. And so I don’t whether to be proud or to hide it. I don’t know what to think of this anymore, not after last year.
I had not told anyone about these nominations until now besides my mom and husband. I guess the cat is out of the bag now. So why I am so hesitant? Well, there are different reasons. First, I don’t know how I feel about awards still for me any way, I think many of my incredible colleagues should win awards, should get accolades for everything they do. I think any time we can shine a positive spotlight on education, it is a wonderful thing. And the fact that the people who nominated me actually know me and still think I do a great job makes the nomination very sweet indeed. Yet, I don’t think I am the best elementary education teacher. And I am definitely not the best education blogger. I am only someone sharing the good and the bad and that’s not really doing much.
I am also hesitant because of last year’s ceremony. Because of how teacher’s weren’t honored at the ceremony. Because of how it didn’t seem to be about the kids much. Because I had to go home and apologize to my students’ parents who watched and were offended at some of the entertainment. I voiced those opinions and a huge debate started, one I don’t wish to revisit, but one that beat me up nonetheless. In the end the Bam Radio Organization revamped many things, this year making it about the students, making it about honoring community and not just individuals. And yet, I am not sure how it will all play out. It seems like there is an overabundance of “connected” educators represented in the various categories again, it seems like there are a lot of repeat nominees (me included). Are enough “regular” educators being nominated? What does this even mean, does it mean anything to anyone? All of these are questions that I continue to mull over. And so I don’t know what to do.
One thing I know for sure though, is that I will not be asking for votes. I will not be promoting my nomination. I have thanked the people who nominated me, I am so grateful for your kind words, especially because both of the them are people who I greatly admire and strive to be like. So for now, I will will sit back and see how all of this goes. Will it be about the students? Will there be winners and losers? Will it be positive? Is this even needed? I struggle with these thoughts, I cannot be alone.
PS: One thing I love is the initiative for a 4 minute TED-like talk. If only I knew how to submit for that because I am pretty sure I have something worth saying about student voice!
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” can be pre-bought now from Powerful Learning Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.