The rewards of teaching are generally intangible. It is a profession that brings the knowledge of having touched lives and changed the course of history in small ways, and is peppered with hugs, smiles, and warm fuzzy moments. Oh, and the funny moments (such as the Fact or Fantasy post from last week) are pretty good, too.
However, teachers rarely get to see any of those more tangible rewards that other people get. You know the ones I mean: Christmas bonuses, profit sharing, staff cruises, and the perks you hear about from dental assistants, painters, and electricians (although we sometimes get pretty spectacular presents from our students...).
So when I heard that I could go to a leadership conference on Vancouver Island this week, I was more than happy to partake in an almost-holiday!
Ellen and I met at 6 this morning near the ferry terminal and joined the long lineup of cars, having been informed that we may not get onto the 7:00 sailing. As the ship filled up, they kept letting just a few more vehicles board, then just a few more, until we were at the front of the line. The man directing let us sit there wondering -- would we get on, or would we be left sitting there for two more hours? Finally, we heard his radio crackle: "One more car!" Woo hoo! We cheered as he let us board - we were the very last car to get on!
Sidney-by-the-Sea is a very sweet town; this is where the Christian Schools Canada conference is being held, and we opted to pay a little extra to stay at the Sidney Pier Hotel. I highly recommend it! From my bed - the one closest to the window - I can see the ocean and the long pier. I love the decor, and the bedding is so soft and cozy!
I'm starting to be more comfortable hanging out with all these principals. It was more than a little intimidating when I first started going to this kind of event, but people are pretty friendly and there is lots of good learning happening. I went to a fascinating session on assessment - I'm sure that you're salivating at the thought of it! I'm especially looking forward to hearing Mark Buchanan speak. He's a wonderful writer who uses words like artists use paint. I have two of his books - The Holy Wild and The Rest of God.
It's quite wonderful to be away and to enjoy such a lovely hotel. You know that I'm generally a camping sort of girl, but I must say that this is the life for me!