"I said that all the people that I work with would be deserving of this because all the teaching staff, all the support staff, everybody goes the extra mile. We have a great staff and we have really great kids that we work with."
That's what she said. That was Tracy Doering's response to being named one of 12 outstanding teachers in Canada by Grand and Toy as part of its A Day Made Better Program. She was presented with flowers, a certificate, an ergonomic chair and eight boxes filled with $2,000 worth of school supplies by Grand and Toy representative Sandy Campbell Oct. 5 at Lashburn High School.
"When he was speaking about the award I started thinking of all the people I work with and wondering if it was this person or this person or this other person because our staff is so good and then when he called my name I was just in total shock. Total shock."
Winning teachers were chosen in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec. The goals of the program are to "give the teaching community, parents and students a chance to recognize and thank outstanding teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty," and to donate back to teachers in recognition of the fact the average Canadian teacher spends $453 in out of pocket expenses for their classrooms.
So I asked one of the people who nominated Tracy about the how and the why.
"It was a joint effort," said Colleen Ackerman. "It was a joint effort because Tracy does so much that it's hard for one person to think of everything she does."
So I asked, "Like what?"
"Oh," she said with that tone of slight exasperation that implies that only a male would need to ask. "Oh just the drama, the dance, the turkey dinners, the catering of every event, the potluck lunches, the fundraising dinners for the sports-plex, the retirement banquets, the art projects, the meticulous planning for the class trips and the fundraising for the class trips. She puts in time and time and time and time and still has a smile on her face and brings you a cake when she comes in in the morning, like you are awesome. She just fit the criteria and she deserves it. She does things without ever asking or expecting anything in return. She just does it because that's what needs to be done."
"Oh," I said. "Those things."
Six turkeys. Six really big turkeys. That's how many you need if you're going to put on a Thanksgiving dinner for a school of 200 people. They were delivered to Mrs. Doering 10 minutes after the award ceremony finished.
Did I mention the standing ovation?