I received this email on Thursday, May 1. I was flabbergasted. When I saw the post by the Penniless Teacher informing us about the contest for this opportunity, I thought I will try it, why not! I really did not think I would win. So I filled out the application, answered the questions and hit send. Never giving it a second thought. Well, then I received the above email and about had an attack!
So that was Thursday night, I sent my security information in on Friday, got clearance on Monday and went to D.C. on Tuesday night.
Wednesday was the big day and what an amazing day it was!!!!!
So the day started with a tour of the White House! I have never been inside the White House before today and I have to say I was in awe! I loved the portraits of the Presidents and the First Ladies that hung throughout! But my favorite room was the State Dining Room, what a beautiful room! What I loved most of all was the large portrait that hung in the room. Do you know what President it is?................
Any ways, what I learned was the family of Abraham Lincoln allowed the White House to have this particular portrait under one stipulation. It had to be the only portrait hanging in the room they chose to hang it in. That is why, the only portrait that hangs in the State Dining Room is that of Abraham Lincoln! I was amazed!
Here I am on the outside of the White House. We are not allowed to take pictures in the White House which bummed me out!
After the tour, I was to go to the Eisenhower Building! What a huge building and I had to find room 276. So I take the elevator to the second floor and had to walk 75 rooms. I thought I would never get there! Well, guess what that room is???..........
It is the Vice President's Ceremonial Office!!! OMG!!! I was in awe!
I sat at the Vice President's desk in the Ceremonial Room!
I opened the desk drawer and there were the signatures of the past Vice President's under a piece of glass!
So, as the other 19 teachers entered the room, we all introduced ourselves and it literally felt like we have known each other! What an awesome group of educators!!!
First, we met with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan! What an amazing, gracious man! He was thoughtful in his responses. He truly listened to us and answered our questions thoughtfully! Some of the ideas and statements he shared with us were:
-wants more diversity among our teachers. He wants more prepared great teachers!
-Education is an investment not an expense
- Teachers need to have their heads and their hearts in education
Then we met with others from the White House about different education initiatives and about Military Families.
Then it was time to meet Dr. Jill Biden! What an honor! She was amazing! Her compassion for education was evident!
The time spent with Dr. Biden flew by! We all could have stayed and talked for hours I am sure! This is a great group of educators!
After our time with Dr. Biden, we were taken to the South Lawn. We were met by one of the chefs at the White House. She was so knowledgable. She brought us to the Vegetable garden, compost and the Bee Hive. The garden was so lush and green.
It was time to go! Of course I had to get a picture of the White House from the South Lawn and a picture of myself with the fountain and the Washington Monument behind me!
So, the end has come but before we left, we were given these amazing gifts!
This day is the best day of my career! This is a day that will forever be etched in my memory! Thank you Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for providing this opportunity!!!!!!