By: Marielle Emet (Baltimore ’06)
You know that scene in Mr. Holland’s Opus when he walks into the auditorium and suddenly realizes it is all about him? I had that moment. This past November I was told by my principal we were having an assembly with a lot of bigwigs to celebrate recent test scores. I created an alternative schedule, and grumbled about how this was going to throw off my unit plan. And then, about 10 minutes into the assembly (where I was mainly focused on getting a few key scholars to track the speaker) it turned out this was all a ruse: this was an assembly to give me the Milken Educator Award.
There were powerful people, quotes from kids, TV cameras, and a big check. I was in shock, people kept asking me how I felt and I was honestly (for the first time in my life, I think) at a loss for words. I was so surprised (this is not an award you apply for, and I didn’t even know I was in the running) but also in shock that my school family had done so much just to honor me, a teacher. After the camera crews left and I got back into the classroom–that was when the impact of this award took an unexpected turn.