Monday, April 30, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #121

A Year of Gratitude #121: The Kindness of Others

So back in 2010, I was selected as a Teacher Advisor for Scholastic. I was one of 15 teachers from across the U.S. picked to serve on this board. I was beyond excited when I found out that I was in their top 50 and then had an amazing phone interview with one of their editors. When I was told that I was picked as an advisor, my life changed. 

Two of the editors from Scholastic flew to Raleigh and came to my school to take pictures for the day and just hang out and see what a day in my classroom was like. They provided lunch for my staff and spent lunch talking to as many teachers as they could. It was amazing.

Then in February, I was flown to NYC for an all-expenses paid trip! (You can read about my post from that trip with pictures.) I was in NYC from Thursday through Sunday and had the most amazing time. For the first time in my life, I was treated like a celebrity because I was a teacher. It was so great. I was showered with gifts galore, given money to spend in the Scholastic store and then wined and dined at some of NYC's greatest restaurants.

What did I have to do in exchange for this opportunity? I just had to go into a room (called the Fish bowl) and talk to the President of Scholastic, the CEO of Scholastic, several VPs and a whole slew of editors. The room was filled with over 100 big-wigs from Scholastic and they wanted to know what I thought about their business and how I thought it could be improved. On the second day, I sat in a computer lab with all the Scholastic's tech people and they watched me try to navigate a new online site for ordering books. They wanted to see how easy I found it, and any comments and feedback I had for them.

It was fun. On top of the "work" that we did, I got to go to the Early Show on CBS and was ON TV. I went to a Broadway show and had FRONT ROW seats to The Miracle Worker. I had the time of my life and it was all on Scholastic's dime. 

As if the experience wasn't incredible enough, the friendships that I formed that weekend were awesome. I bonded with three people in a way that I had not expected. Lisa, Jon, and Kristin were three friends that I made while there, and I spent a great deal of time with them. When we had free time, the four of us explored NYC and did a "Food Network Tour" and hit up some famous NYC food spots. I had to go to Gray's Papaya for a hotdog... Lisa wanted to hit up Dylan's Candy Bar, and Jon wanted to hit up Donut Plant. Kristin was from Brooklyn and had been there and done that... so she didn't have any particular place she wanted to go.

Anyway... I've stayed in touch with Jon and Lisa and for a while was staying in touch with Kristin (I haven't talked to her in a while though). Just the other day, I saw some paintings that Lisa posted on her FB wall. She's very talented and I posted that I'd love for her to paint me a picture for Gus's new room. Well... she got back with me and asked what I'd want and asked about colors and then on Friday, she sent me a text with a picture of a painting that she made for Gus!

It arrived today!
How cute is that??? I am so thankful that I had the chance to meet Lisa, but also thankful for the kindness of her making such a beautiful painting for Gus's dinosaur room!


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