Predictibly, I didn't sleep very much last night. With the top-10 announcement scheduled for midnight, I tried to get some sleep beforehand, but it didn't work very well. I don't sleep well when I'm excited.
Around midnight I checked the Global Teacher Prize website and saw that there was a video of Stephen Hawking announcing the top-10 finalists. I was floored. This was the first moment in a day of amazing moments in which it was hard to believe the events occurring. As a science teacher and geek, there really isn't a more incredible person I can think of to be making the announcement. As I hit play, the reality hit me: Stephen Hawking is going to announce my name as one of the top teachers in the world.
I had known for about a week now that this announcement was coming. I knew I'd be excited, but I wasn't prepared for that. Sitting on my couch, I got a little teary eyed as he read my name. That was special.
Next, I saw on the website that the videos for each of the finalists were up on the site. I eagerly clicked mine, excited to see how they had edited it and to see if it captured my philosophy and passions. It absolutely did!
After that, I spent the next few hours answering congratulatory texts and messages and watching the inspiring videos of the other finalists. Several times I tried to go to sleep, but it didn't really happen. Once in a while I'd doze off for a few minutes, but it just wasn't meant to be.
At school, I was tired, but so excited to share this experience with my students and colleagues. While I was teaching, two local TV stations sent crews for a story that ran tonight.
After school, before teaching a grad class, I also did a quick phone interview with a reporter for the Scranton Times-Tribune for a story in the paper.
It has been an incredible day. My phone has been dinging with Twitter and Facebook notifications non-stop since midnight. I've received messages from old friends, former students and soccer players, and people I've never met from all corners of the globe. It's still hard to believe at times that it's all real.