Cam Fahlman - Honourary ELAC member
My initial reaction to getting a phone call congratulating me was that the caller had misdialed--perhaps had misread a list on which my phone number had been recorded. When I was assured this was not the case, my second thought was to ask what had I done to deserve such an honour. I think my brain was really not functioning that day, because when I was talking a few days later with a friend who was on the Executive, I shared I was really surprised to be receiving the Teacher Merit Award. Very patiently she corrected me, saying I was being awarded the Honorary Membership award--"The Big Award," she said. Well, that didn't make me any less befuddled. But her next few words--"Just accept it. It's an honour (and here she could have added "you Dummy!")--calmed my brain and I started to appreciate the recognition from my peers.
To this day, ELAC's Honorary Membership is something that I cherish. And I look forward to hearing each year about the new award winners. Thank you, ELAC, for continuing the tradition of recognizing colleagues in this way. And thank you once again, ELAC, for that phone call!
My fondest memories
It is really hard to choose a "fondest ELA memory"--I have so many! But I think what I remember most fondly about teaching students ELA was precisely that--teaching students. And I had the good fortune of teaching, encouraging and empowering them through the power of language. And the finest language in the world it is--English (Modern, Middle and Old)! Of course, much of the magic has always been in the poetry, fiction, drama and film--including student-authored works. But I have to include as well my fond memories of meeting students years later who excitedly described lessons that I had long forgotten I taught and who generously shared how meaningful our classses have proven to be for them over the years. And, if I can still squeeze in yet another fond memory, it is a collective one: all the many dozens of ELAC conferences I enjoyed as an attendee, presenter and conference committee member. Hating to end this opportunity to 'speak' to a trapped audience, I wish--especially for those many young, bright faces who are standing at the front of classrooms in Alberta and helping weave the magic of ELA within the hearts and minds of their students--that Alberta's ELA teachers are able to find that rare instance when they can pause and savour the moment… and make a memory!