A Note of Thanks

On Friday afternoon, I stopped at the grocery store before heading to a staff member’s house to celebrate the end of the year. In line ahead of me were a mother and her two daughters. The mother exclaimed, “That’s it. I’ve had enough. Time for the two of you to return to school.”

The cashier looked hesitantly at me and then turned to the mother and said, “Didn’t they just get out of school?”

“Yes, at noon today.” Evidently, it will be a long summer for some.

As summer holidays begin, I thank you on behalf of students and parents.

  • Thank you for spending countless hours – both inside and outside of school – writing report cards, planning, researching, creating and marking.
  • Thank you for taking the time to approach the curriculum creatively to ensure optimal student engagement.
  • Thank you for treating your students as individuals, understanding that fair is not always equal.
  • Thank you for your passion and persistence sometimes in the face of resistance and negativity.
  • Thank you for devoting yourself to this noble profession.

Enjoy a well-earned summer break!

The countdown is on…

It is hard to believe we have reached year end. And yet, here we are beginning our final week. I always laugh when those outside of education say, “Oh things must be winding down.” It is obvious they have never worked within a school. As we all know, things wind up in June, not down. They only wind down when the last student has left the building for summer.

And although most students look forward to summer vacation, there are also those who dread it. Those who worry about not getting enough food to eat, those who do not want to spend more time with their families, and those who will miss the security of the school day.

I spent considerable time with a few of those students last week. I suspect this week will be the same. And although most of us look forward to the break and all that comes with it, I pray that these students find peace and security. I can help provide food, I can provide emergency numbers and I can reassure them as best I can. And yet, I still have to see them off for the summer and hope that their days are not as bad as they dread.

Let’s make these last five days enjoyable ones for all!

 

A reason to celebrate

This weekend was certainly a time to celebrate! It was father’s day, yes. But in our family we also had another reason to celebrate: one-year-post-bone-marrow-transplant for my sister-in-law! It was truly a day of joy.

The kids enjoyed running and jumping and playing with their cousins. There were games, water fights, food and cake. And the adults… the adults felt a joy deeper than words can express… A joy to spite what might have been… A joy at seeing someone determined to beat this thing… A joy acknowledging each precious day of life.

Albert Camus once wrote, “In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.” With my sister-in-law as inspiration, I am reminded of the power of positive thinking. Summer has arrived and the cold days of winter seem to be behind us.

*#&$^!

Recently I reprimanded a young adult for his inappropriate language. Typically, I am fairly liberal in my acceptance of language. I was therefore somewhat surprised when I was truly offended by the language of a worker outside my home. It got me thinking…

Why am I not bothered when it comes to language in movies or the occasional curse of a family member or friend? What was different about this incident? What moved me to speak up about his cursing?

After reflecting, I believe the difference was circumstance. His language was excessive and untimely; he was representing a company; he was within earshot of several homes with no regard for who might be inside; his cursing was not a result of being upset or hurt but simply a case of showboating to his coworkers.

After I spoke up, he seemed truly apologetic. Had he not considered where he was and how he represented himself? Do we have to teach our young to be deliberate about the language they use? *#&$>! yes.