Berlin and Connecticut Teacher of the Year David Bosso said his weeklong trip to Washington D.C. for the National Teacher of the Year Convention was everything he had hoped for and more.
"Between the opportunity to work with the other state Teachers of the Year who were there and the White House trip and the workshops, it was an incredible trip," Bosso said.
But for Bosso, the highlight of the trip was not the professional development or meeting the President or Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill.
"As well as we were treated and as many great things that happened that week, there was one thing that stood out," he said. "We went everywhere on a bus that said we were all 'Teachers of the Year.' We got off the bus one time and some random people came over to me and shook my hand and thanked me for being a teacher. That was really special."
Bosso said his meetings with Jill Biden and President Obama were both about 15 seconds long and a brief photo op.
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Bosso said there are many responsibilities a Teacher of the Year but it has been manageable.
"Number one, I consider myself a spokesperson for education," he said. "I have had some speaking engagements and talked to students who have just completed their student teaching. I have a unique responsibility because the question is how do measure teacher performance in the state and to some degree on the national level? After meeting the other state Teachers of the Year, there are 54 of them, I am humbled to be recognized out of the more than three millions teachers in the United States. A lot don't get recognized at all even though they are great teachers.
"I have a platform and a duty as Teacher of the Year. I was concerned that I would be the face of education in the state but since teacher evaluation has come up, who better to answer these questions than a teacher. There are policy makers and politicians making the decisions on reform but I would hope they would get input from teachers, parents and even students' voices too. I think a lot got lost in the initial discussion of educational reform."
While the trip to D.C. was a highlight, Bosso has several more conferences before his time as Teacher of the Year is done.