Barbara Ann Selland: Sacramento County Teachers of the Year 2013 Awards Speech

Uploaded by sacramentocoe on 20.08.2012

Thank you, everybody. All the
distinguished guests. I'd like to thank my family, my mother,
who inspired me to be a teacher. She
herself a teacher many years at the university and college
system. I watched her grade papers. I heard her talk about her
students and what she was teaching. And I knew that
teaching was going to be my future. My brother, who
was my tutor through math -- I wouldn't have ever made it, ever, through any math
classes without him -- so I really appreciate math teachers.
My friends, who are here to support me, stand by me,
listen to my stories, and they completely
-- teachers, we live in a culture that nobody else understands. You have friends
that when you meet another person that's a teacher, you start talking and they roll their eyes and walk away.
I went on a cruise and there were teachers
there and they wanted to leave -- they couldn't get off the boat and get away from us.
Because teachers talk. And thank you board members.
Thanks Sacramento County Office of Education, superintendents,
principal, friends,
colleagues that I hold dear and near to my heart
that I cherish. And I respect what you have
to say, what you're doing in the classroom, and supporting
me and I support you.
What awesome teachers are here tonight.
You are incredible.
To be the last one to present, I just want to say, "Ditto."
But --
We do good work, don't we?

"What is real?"
asked the rabbit one day, when they were lying side-by-side
in the nursery before nanna came in
to clean the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you
in a stick out handle?"
"You are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens
to you. When a child loves you,
for a long, long time, not just to play with but
really loves you, then
you become real." These simple words from
Margaret Williams' beloved story, "The Velveteen Rabbit," describes my desire
to become a "real" teacher.
So, why teach? I teach because I believe
our youth represent our future. And the
quality of education provided determines the character
of our society.
So, I encourage you, fellow professional educators, to
work harder when failure wants to rest.
I call on you, travelers of
knowledge, to lift each other up when failure
strives to bring us down. When the
storms of failure shadows upon us, let us pull ourselves
strong into the wind. We cannot control the wind,
but we can move the sail to ride into the harbor
of dreams. Therefore, I will remember the
lesson of a Skin Horse who explained how to become
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse.
"You become. It takes a long time.
That's why it doesn't happen often to people,
who break easily or have sharp edges,
who have to be carefully kept.
Generally, by the time you are real, most of
your hair has been loved off,
your eyes have dropped out,
and you get loose
in the joints and very shabby.
But those things don't matter
at all. Because once you are real,
you cannot be ugly
except to people who don't understand."
Thank you, fellow travelers. My
colleagues, my friends, my family,
for being real.
So: live long and prosper.

Thank you.