Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Learning at the Smithsonian, Inspiration from Dr. Jill Biden, andReflection at the Jefferson Memorial

DC Recognition Week started with a wonderful homecoming with the state teachers of the year. Then...off to the Smithsonian Institute! Each of us selected an area to visit, and I got the best one of all: American Cool. It's an exhibit of 100 cool Americans ... I loved it! Unfortunately we couldn't take pictures in that exhibit but look for the feather in a couple of shots below. 

The Smithsonian is dedicated to providing resources for teachers across the country, so they are digitizing many of their resources. Teachers - check it out! Here's the site for American Cool

After the wonderful presentations at the Smithsonian, we headed for the Vice President's residence! To get in, there were Secret Service police, and road blocks, and drug dogs, and entrance lists. Then...on to the house. As we walked up, a military string quartet played some beautiful entrance music. A display of food awaited, and then of course there was the house! We were invited to look around and take pictuers. 

Finally, Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden invited us for a photo opportunity and gave each teacher a hug before the picture. She was warm then, but when she spoke to us she was even more generous and wonderful. Did you know she is a teacher? She was an English teacher (!) and she is still a teacher at Northern Virginia Community College. She said to us, "Teaching is a life worth living." I'm sure we all agree.

Taking the Warrior Trail to the Vice President's residence was an honor...but getting the picture was tricky. You can see my attempts below.


Finally, Jerry and I took a walk in the rain to the Jefferson Memorial. I love this monument. In college I even wrote a paper about it. We had the whole place to ourselves...and the security guard. Thomas Jefferson had well-considered ideas about democracy, government, and education. At one time he wrote, "Though the people may acquiesce, they cannot approve what they do not understand." Thomas Jefferson believed that government should be in the hands of the people, but they must be an educated people. He, too, was a proponent of education.

So day one was filled with reminders of the importance of what teachers do. It also reminded me of my home community because I thought about the many things I wanted to share with you!

The Warrior Trail continues tomorrow.