Friday, February 20, 2009

All Hail the Birthday Queen!

I can vividly remember the first time I saw dayle timmons. I was a very young teacher sitting in the lobby of Alimacani Elementary waiting to have my first interview for a REAL teaching job. I was trying to be calm and confident as I sat waiting to be called into the "principal's office" when all of a sudden the intercom came on and Mrs. Timmons was summoned to the front office. Now, I had spent 22 years being Susan Timmons and only 12 days as Susan Phillips so my inital instinct was to get up and approach the front counter. Secretly I was thinking, "Oh my gosh - I haven't even been interviewed yet and they are already calling me to the office - I must have the job!" It never dawned on me that there could be another teacher Timmons out there - I had lived in Jacksonville 6 days! Just as I was about to get the attention of the secretary the Mrs. Timmons they were really after breezed in the door just in time to save me from what was sure to have been total and utter humiliation! I didn't know her at all but she was already my hero.

Watching dayle work with her students shaped my own teaching behaviors early on. She was always the most positive, supportive and focused professional. What she did with children was amazing, it still is for that matter. When dayle landed at Chets Creek several years after we opened I was thrilled, another chance to learn from the master! She is a published author, an avid reader and a dedicated learner of any and everything needed to improve her own craft and to support the work of the teachers she coaches. If there is a new idea - dayle had it! If there is a new risk to take - dayle will try it. If you think it can't be done - dayle will prove you wrong! I was never so proud that she was recognized for her contributions to the teaching profession as when she was named the Florida Teacher of the Year in 2004. After all, dayle's learning journeys reach far and wide, and have effected the work of teachers and children she'll never even know. I am thankful everyday that her journeys have reached out to touch and include me. They have changed my professional life forever and after almost 15 years of working with and learning from dayle I can tell you without a doubt that she is still my hero.

Today at Chets Creek we held a very special "surprise" birthday party to honor queen dayle's 60th birthday. It had to be a surprise because she would never have allowed anything else - and it was a extraordinary celebration of a life's journey that is far from over. You see, at 60 dayle can work circles around even our youngest teachers. She regularly takes all of us to the edge of our own professional capabilities and stretches our thinking to include the latest and greatest practice in education. At a time when most would be thinking of retirement dayle is thinking up the next idea to try, risk to take or initiative to implement. After all, 60 is really just the new 22...

Risk...Care...Dream...Expect...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was such as funny story about how you first encountered dayle timmons. I could only imagine how embarrassing it could have been if you had gone to the counter and said that you were Mrs. Timmons. Things happen for a reason and people are placed in certain places for good things to happen. We are so lucky to have dayle and we are so lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Gee wiz, another week and another thing that I did not know about you. You were a Timmons too.

dayle is all that and a bag of chips! She is everything you said, and she deserves the title of "Queen Mother" or "Wonder Woman" or "The Regal Regent of Reading"...

Her party was an absolute hoot! It was a perfect "distraction" just before "the test". So thanks dayle for having a timely birthday. The fact that dayle was, and still is, a hottie, just made it that much better! (I have not taken that mandatory course yet, so I am not to blame if that sounds improper.)

I would sign off on this with an M.D., but we all know that he has never responded to any blog, and therefore, nobody would buy it!

Peace,

T-Cubed

Ms. Stewart and Mrs. Thomas said...

I completely agree! I have spent all day thinking about how much I would love to become at least half the teacher that dayle is and how lucky I am to be at a place like Chets. I am constantly surrounded by people that encourage and support me. It is amazing to truly feel like my peers want me to succeed. I can't wait to see where I can go as a teacher with that kind of support! :) ~Laura

Debbie Harbour said...

It was so much fun to honor dayle today. I am like you Susan - always amazed at what she brings to the table. We are so fortunate to have her with us every day!

Jenny said...

My favorite line from this post: "At a time when most would be thinking of retirement, dayle is thinking up the next idea to try..." How true is that? That says it all.

Anonymous said...

i really enjoyed dayle's birthday celebration. i have not laughed so hard in quite a while. the whole presentation was a perfect diversion just prior to fcat too. i think we should do it every year!

we are so lucky to have such a profoundly brilliant person within our walls! dayle ROCKS!

peace,

t-cubed

The Lipsky Team said...

Wow, that's a fantastic picture of the whole Timmons Crew!

Sincerely,
Jessie

Anonymous said...

I've always known you were the queen at school, dayle, but I didn't know you were an apple queen:@) I learned so much more about you today. The slide show was fantastic! I am so fortunate to be working with you and learning from you!
Fondly,
Christy