This kind of glamour is not usually associated with education. Plain clothes and sensible shoes are more the order of the school day. But those heels and long dresses you see are adorning, of all people, teachers.
It's the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Awards: The Bammys.
"The Academy exists solely to recognize what is right in education by identifying, honoring and celebrating the collective contributions of professionals, paraprofessionals and support staff across the entire education community."
Lisa Nielsen, who writes the Innovative Educator blog, has been a friend and co-conspirator of mine for a few years now. She is an Academy member, and put my name forward, in addition to a few others from the 31 categories. My category is, of course, School Board Member.
From the nomination page:
"Lisa Cooley brings real education change to the school board table. Her position on progressive education and opposition to high-stakes testing and standardization bring the wider world of school transformation to a rural New England school district. She brings her ideas on meaningful student learning to every aspect of school board activity, from the budget, to curriculum decisions, to student expulsion hearings."
Perhaps most important to me is the fact that each vote has a short statement by the voter. It's an amazing feeling to be praised for exactly those qualities that I value and strive for. This one comes from my friend and fellow-nominee, Deven Black:
"Lisa is an inquisitive school board member working hard to keep student needs front and center in her district. The most striking thing about Lisa is her ability to admit she doesn't know enough about a topic and her tenacious work to learn what she doesn't know. She asks good questions, listens to the answers and then asks more questions, the mark of a life-long learner."Take a look at the site, and read about some of the nominees. The purpose of the Awards is to call attention to the education profession, take a break from being attacked, villified, tested, evaluated and judged, and honor the best of what we do for children. If you feel like voting, please do! It takes less than a minute to create an account for yourself.
I know that I would do this work even if I had no support and no appreciation...but I can't tell you how nice it is to have it. So, thanks to Lisa Nielsen (who is also nominated for an award, in the Commentator/Blogger category) for putting my name forward -- and for encouraging me push past thought, and into action.