Well, after two months of holding in one of the biggest secrets of my career, I can finally share some photos.
This experience has been incredibly surreal from the moment Chris called me and told me that I had won this award.
It has been one of the most amazing weeks of my life as I sit here and reflect on my time spent in Ottawa.
There were 5 Early Childhood Educators chosen for this award across the nation.
It was so inspiring to meet the incredible teachers from across Canada who all teach in various provinces with their varying skills. We were all so different, yet joining together to accept this prestigious award together.
One of the recipients, Amandine; also works as an early childhood educator in Yellowknife. I was so inspired by her story.
The day she flew home it snowed again! It's the end of May!
I can't imagine what it would be like to teach small children in an environment where there is snow 6 months of the year, full daylight on some days, and full darkness on others, and the protocol for coming indoor during the winter is -33. (children start to cough a lot at this temperature, and they become in danger of freezing their lungs) This just blows my mind. People are amazing!
Our local MP Elizabeth May also came to congratulate me. She was voting during the ceremony, but she managed to come over and have a glass of wine with me after the awards. What a beautiful and kind woman she is. We are VERY lucky here in BC to have such compassionate representatives. She is also quite hilarious!
Meeting the Prime Minister was surreal, and epic in is own quiet way. I ried to slow the moment as best I could, walking mindfully across the stage (repeating don't trip, don't fart) in my head. I was more worried about stumbling in my tall red shoes than anything! But they did make an impression, and they matched the red in the background Canada flags perfectly! lol.
It was Justin's anniversary this day, so we all knew our time with him was very limited. Selfies after the awards were kaibosched immediatly when we were told he would be racing off to meet Sophie for a date!
I did have an opportunity to congratulate him on his anniversary, and he was very genuine and kind when he spoke. He congratulated me, and told me that my nature program was very impressive. He was all smiles and kissed both sides of my cheek very traditionally.
My 20 seconds were over in the blink of an eye.
The week we were there, we were treated like Royalty. There were beautiful buffets, interviews, media opportunities and lots of time to collaborate with the other recipients. I think there were 16 of us in total, and many brought their families and spouces with them.
We visited the Science Museum, Q & A period with Mr. Speaker (what a sight that was to see!), Parliament Hill, and a pin ceremony as well.
Overall, this experience has been life changing.
When I first arrived, I didn't feel worthy of this recognition. I thought to myself, "How am I actually getting this award?
By the time Ieft Ottawa, I was in awe. The other recipients LOVED what I was doing here in BC with small children! They LOVED the idea of Nature daycares, outdoor napping, muddy buddies, forest walks etc etc. They made me feel worthy of this award. It was te recognition from my colleagues that made this feel earned.
That is worth it's weight in gold!