I had been teaching all of five years when I got nominated for teacher of the year by my colleagues. I was elated. I made it to the top ten and was really excited about my interview with a panel of teachers, principals, and administrators.
As I pulled up to the Administration Building, my lesson plans and books slid to the floor. I hastily picked them up and put them back on the car seat. The interview took about thirty minutes and I left feeling pretty good about my answers.
When I got home, I threw my keys on my bed, plopped down, and screamed bloody murder when I caught my reflection in a mirror. When I had picked up my books from the car floor, I had also picked up some purple ink from a duplicating master book. We didn't use Xerox back then. I had accidentally left a long purple streak of ink across my face before I went in for the interview. Nobody ever said a word.
Oh, and I didn't win that year either.