A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others. – Anonymous
I took the photograph above of my friend, Matthew “Tos” Tosiello, who is the 2011 Teacher of the Year (or “TOTY” for short) for his school district. We’re watching a video of his amazing teaching skills in front of a full auditorium of celebrants. You can get a glimpse from the image of what it takes to be there and be outstanding, all the time, to be what Matt has become.
I attended the TOTY ceremony with his family, friends, students, parents, leadership and colleagues, and his partner Eric, who he recognized in his speech and asked to stand. I knew that family involvement in schools is critical. I learned that night that family involvement with teachers is critical, too.
A long time ago (or maybe not that long ago), a person could only be Teacher of the Year, or teacher at all “As long as….” they were: heterosexual, white, male, continue the list… I wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate Teacher of the Year, or allowed to support teachers, because maybe I wouldn’t know any. Now I know the best one.
In 2011 a person can only be Teacher of the Year if they a great person and a great teacher. Diversity changes things for the better, and the world has changed for the better. You can tell from the photos on the left that this community likes its choice. And why wouldn’t they? Love always wins.