That Time I Interviewed for National Teacher of the Year
It’s 4:30 a.m.,
and I hear notes on a xylophone being played. It feels festive, like I’m expecting to wake up in a resort with a talented xylophone player standing on a patio, rhythmically tapping away on the keys. Not quite — I confirm with my phone that I am actually awake. I showered and shaved the stubble on my face last night, but I have nervous energy and I head for the warm steam of another shower to melt it away.
It’s 5:20 a.m.,
and I grab my backpack equipped with my favorite suit. I mentally run through each item I will wear for tomorrow’s interviews: Toothbrush and toothpaste? Check. Phone charger? Yes. I feel around in my backpack and find my State of Oklahoma pin. I’ll need that. I kiss my lovely wife softly, trying not to wake her. It’s Sunday, and she deserves to sleep in before she tackles that stack of papers she needs to grade. Half-awake, she tells me she is proud of me and everything I’ve done. I tell her I love her and will see her in less than 48 hours. One last check for my phone and wallet, and I’m out the door.