In a profession where we have so little time and time always seems to be getting away from us, I was reminded this week about how important it is to just take a few moments to enjoy and celebrate each other even when we seem to have so little time to do so. That is why this week, our #Feastergiving had a theme beyond the fall season:
But most of all,
Feastergiving Poem 2018
During our #Feastergiving, I was looking around and recognizing how many people we have on staff and I was thinking how nice it was to see everyone mixed up, not necessarily with their grade levels, but with other people, laughing, talking, getting to know each other. I took it all in and spent a moment just listening to the laughter and the conversations that were not focused on lesson planning or on working through some complex classroom situation but were focused on getting to know the other people at the table. These times to build relationships can be invaluable because, just like our students, we need these times to connect with each other and build our personal bonds.
It is through these conversations that we start to recognize the commitment to our students that we all share and we also start to recognize each others personal strengths. Like Ms. Miller who is organizing the Girls on the Run program or Mr. Samaniego who is passionate about building connections amongst our staff and our Feaster Farm teachers who are “building humanitarians” and Ms. Aderholdt who has worked for over a year to plan Spanish classes for the staff and Ms. Bates who is doing amazing things alongside our athletics department to make sure the league fees are paid and the teams have enough coaching staff…these are things that I only know because I am taking the time to notice them (of course there are many more not mentioned here and I encourage you to share in the comments below). I know we all have those stories and we all have an example of how someone near to us is doing amazing things and we all recognize the strengths of others. This week, it was really great to see everyone in one room taking it all in and just enjoying the time to get to know other staff members and appreciating each other and just being thankful. During this time, we expressed gratitude on leaves that were hung on a tree that will be kept in the lounge. I hope that we can continue to add to our #gratitudetree and share some of the ways that we are thankful for each other.
I saw the tweet below posted by a first year teacher and I immediately felt so much empathy for her because I know that we have all had times when we have felt like this; regardless of how long we have been teaching. It is my hope that because of the relationships and bonds we have forged, even when we are having a tough #FridayFeeling, we have a group of supportive and empathetic people we can go to right here on campus.
I encourage you to read through the comments linked here that other educators have written in response to this first year teacher’s tweet. It made me realize that we are teaching in a very powerful time when we have so much support right here on campus and we have so much support online from others. It is my hope that you all had some time to feel thankful during our Feastergiving and it is my hope that you will take that time as often as needed to let yourself feel thankful both professionally and personally.