“An amazing experience all around,” “it’s brought a lot of meaning to what I do every day,” “the highpoint of my career to date.” These are just some of the ways Connecticut educators are describing the experience of being named their district’s teacher of the year.
All 97 Connecticut 2012 teachers of the year were recognized last night at a ceremony at The Bushnell. The Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program seeks to identify, from among many outstanding teachers of the year, one teacher to serve as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession.
Chris Poulos, Connecticut’s 2007 teacher of the year and president of the Teacher of the Year Council, explained why the program is so important.
“We believe teacher recognition is essential to the profession. It improves schools and helps students succeeds.”
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman told the assembled teachers of the year, their families and superintendents, “You are the ones who teach the future, who inspire the future. You are a very special group of people. You have chosen a life of constantly giving.”
Teachers appreciate the positive attention.
Connecticut’s 2012 Teacher of the Year David Bosso of Berlin said, “Educators are often the unsung heroes of our society.”
Greenwich Teacher of the Year Karen Boyea, a semifinalist for state teacher of the year, agreed saying, “I think so much of what I see every day goes unnoticed: the small things that people do that mean so much to students. I think programs like this really validate what teachers are doing every day to help students in Connecticut.”
Connecticut’s 2011 Teacher of the Year Kristen Record spoke to the teachers about what awaits them now that they’ve received this honor.
She mentioned the story of a parent who asked her, with the best of intentions, how she felt about reaching the pinnacle of her career at such an early age.
Record struggled with the question but, through her amazing experiences as teacher of the year, came to realize how much more she has to look forward to beyond this award.
“My responsibility as an outstanding teacher doesn’t end at the door of my classroom or of my school,” she said. “As a teacher leader I don’t just go to work and teach my students, I have a responsibility much larger than that.
“It’s important to remind the public that teachers and parents are not the only adults who should be invested in educating children. Education is not confined to the classroom, it happens in the public square as well.”
Bosso’s remarks concluded the ceremony. “It’s an honor to represent so many excellent educators,” he said. “Many of you could be where I am right now, so I am truly humbled.
“Other than children, teachers are the greatest resource a society has. Teaching is a noble act and we have an important responsibility to make sure that what we do is significant and long lasting.”