>Our staff meetings are loud. Passionate, enthusiastic, fast paced, argumentative. People interrupt each other, speak forcefully, gesture with their clipboards and coffee and pens and knitting needles (knitting needles? I thought knitting was supposed be calming?!). No one wants to give in; each and every one of us wants what we need and what we want. Bend an inch? No, thank you. Putting together a testing schedule, accommodating requests, making class lists, establishing services for special groups, balancing budgets, determining goals or mission statements, and getting enough supplies… all take cooperation and compromise. Somehow, we get it done, and we do what’s best for the children we serve.
Lunch periods are rushed. I usually spend my 40 minute lunch break making copies, setting up math materials, cleaning up science labs, and returning phone calls and emails. That is, if I’m not fielding concerns from one or two of the many teachers in my team or listening to colleagues rant because they know I’m a safe sounding board.
But when push comes to shove, I cannot imagine a more caring, spontaneous, and supportive group of coworkers.
I walked in last Friday morning exhausted, lugging my heavy schoolbag, my purse, my lunch bag, and a special treat for surviving a challenging week: a cup of hazelnut coffee from Jo to Go. I walked down a few stairs to put my lunch in the lounge refrigerator, back up those same three stairs and tripped. Hard. Down on my knees, rammed my right wrist on the floor, and lost the entire cup of coffee. As I watched that precious liquid coursing across the floor, I felt ridiculously close to tears.
Immediately, before I even stood, I was surrounded by five people sporting rags and paper towels, helping me stand, asking if I was okay, wiping up the coffee, moving my bag and purse so they didn’t get damaged, and generally taking over to make sure all was well with the world again.
And then the physical education teacher brought me a fresh cup of coffee from her own personal stash in the office off the gym.
Again, even as I laughed at my klutziness, despaired of my bruised knees and ego, I had a sense of gratitude and a feeling of being very, very lucky.
If I had to have a bad day, I’m glad I work here.
Happy Love Thursday, everybody.