It is to be expected that there will be a nametag, but on the back was included a week-long ticket that would gain entry to all of Williamsburg's demonstration venues during the day. Without the ticket, a person must be resigned to stay on the street wondering what kinds of magic were being conducted inside the buildings.
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At orientation, all of us sat around tables at the Woodlands Hotel with new journals in front of us - ostensibly for the taking of notes throughout the week. When I am in such settings, I choose to be in the moment rather than bury my head in paper, so my journal is still fresh and clean. Instead, I have my memories, a few notes on my phone, and lots of photographs. These seem to suit my learning style better, but the journal will definitely be used for another purpose now that I am back home. With the journal was a square of Heritage Chocolate, a slightly more historic version of a Hershey bar which is not as sweet.
Our master teacher, DANETTE, was kind enough to put together a little package that included breath mints, pain pills, hand sanitizer, a flashlight, sun screen, and a small jar of M&Ms (some of which were personalized with the word Huzzah! on them).
Hanging on the back of each chair at orientation was a tote bag with a Colonial Williamsburg puzzle inside. The puzzle is in the folk art style and depicts the city in the winter.
As expected, the meals were filling, and we always seemed to get cookies for dessert. I'll talk about meals in the coming days, but for now, one of those cookies was accompanied by a pocket copy of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
Our great appreciation is always extended for the people and groups that make these teacher institutes available for teachers. It is one time that teachers can feel as if they are appreciated for the increasingly difficult careers they have chosen, but at the same time, the professional knowledge and tips for how to teach difficult material are regarded as very valuable.