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Walking up the stone path toward La Caille, being careful not to scare the peacocks who wandered in front of me, smelling the sweet rose bushes everywhere, is magic all by itself. But last night, I wasn't just going to one of Utah's treasures for dinner, I was going to honor the best teachers in the state.
And I was going to thank them. I'm ashamed they're not thanked more often by more people, but I'm grateful I got the chance to tell them last night just how incredible they are. It was the annual Teacher Feature banquet where the teachers who are honored by parent and student nominations throughout the year gather together to enjoy each other's company at the end of the school year. I talked with teachers and their spouses and parents about junior high schoolers, special needs kids, elementary school kids, and the unique challenges of teenagers. They talked about love, love of the kids and love of their profession.
We heard from the teacher of the year, Kim Schaefer from the San Juan Schools. She walked us through an exercise of folding and cutting a piece of paper, just like we were back in grade school. I screwed it up, of course, and then realized everybody at my table was copying me - so I led myself, my boss and her boss astray. That was the moment I decided to eat my dessert after all.
What a grand evening. Thank you teachers. Thank you for grading my son's homework late, for helping my downs syndrome daughter learn sign language, for teaching my teenage daughter French and psychology and reminding her gently that she can't park in teaching parking. Thank you for your patience and beauty and grace.