Friday, November 22, 2013

Day Twenty Two: Thankful for Random, and Not So Random, Acts of Kindness


It's always been a belief of mine that bad situations tend to bring out the good in people.  Not meaning the good isn't always there, but when something bad happens to a person....the kindness inside grows, starts flowing, and is quickly spread around to those who need it.

And these past few days, I've learned that little lesson firsthand.

I already knew that the people I work with are THE most caring, giving, loving people I have ever met in my entire life.  You just kinda have to be to work in our school.  Because the kids we work with are going to pull at every heart string, every emotion, ever fiber of caring and kindness that each staff member holds inside.  And, if you show up to our school without those things... it's not going to be long that, like the Grinch, your heart grows three sizes.

It's just not possible to walk our halls, speak to the teachers, or spend any amount of time watching the staff members doing what we do without feeling the kindness and love that emanates just from doing our jobs.  

I knew from Day One that I was exactly where I needed to be in order to be the absolute best teacher I could be, simply because of the culture of kindness that's engrained in the teachers at my school.

I'm thankful every day that I get to work with such a great group of people due to the dedication and love and kindness that's shown to our students, but that's not the kindness I'm referring to today.

Today, I am truly thankful for the acts of kindness that have been shown towards me in the past 48 hours.

In the past 48 hours, I have not had time to dwell on or stress about the certain situation that my family is dealing with.  I'm still not ready to share with the world what that situation is, but I can share that it's a situation that hit me hard.  Took the wind out of me.  Has left me feeling scared, terrified actually.  Has caused me to cry, and stress, and worry.  And, honestly, it's not even me that is the person who's going through what's causing these emotions.  I'm just affected because it's someone very close to me... and that's an understatement.  In fact, in all honesty, I have actually felt guilty about how much I have needed to be comforted with all of this, when I'm the one that should be doing the comforting.

Anywho, in the past 48 hours I have not had time to dwell or stress about the certain situation because the people I work with haven't allowed it.  Their random, and not so random, acts of kindness has kept my spirits high and kept me focused on the good in my life.  

Anytime I started to feel a little twinge of sadness, I have been met with someone walking in my classroom at that exact moment to give me a hug.  I have been met with kind words, encouraging words, and words of support and reinforcement that I'm not dealing with my troubles alone.

My 4th grade team members, who have always treated me like family rather than just a co-worker, have kept doing what they do.  There hasn't been a single moment since working in my school where I haven't felt completely comfortable around them.  They have always been there offer kind words, a hug, a prayer... whatever I need to help me get through my day.  And, with what I'm going through now, none of that has changed.  It's just grown.  If that's even possible.  They make me laugh, smile, temporarily forget what I'm dealing with.  

My secret pal, once again, found the perfect time to leave a little something in my mail box yesterday to remind me that I'm being watched over.  A beautiful plaque about family and a card were given to me, and brought tears to my eyes.  

A co-worker that's new to our building this year, but just her personality and everything about her makes her absolutely perfect for our building, brought by some cookies for me yesterday morning.  

Simple acts of kindness... yet delivered with such a huge impact.  Exactly what I needed, when I needed them.  

All of my "teacher friends" have gone above and beyond to reach out to me at some point these past couple of days just to let me know that they care, that they are there for me...and I don't think they have any idea how much of an impact it's made on me.  Because to them, it's just normal to act that way.  They aren't doing anything special on my behalf.  That's just who they are.  When a team member is down, they pick that person up.  Stand together.  Take care of their own.

It's definitely not just my "teacher friends" either.  Over the course of the last few days, I have found myself leaning on another staff member.  She works with our ELL students and families.  I have always liked her, and have gotten along great with her, but these last few days I have gravitated towards her almost every day...a few times a day, actually... just to talk.  I don't know why,  but I feel like I can pretty much tell her anything.  She is hilariously funny, but amazingly kind.  And just spending a few minutes with her can dispel any negativity I'm feeling.  

And, at this point, I really have to shed some light on how amazing my boss is.  

I've had some amazing bosses and supervisors in my time.  Those that have treated me well, have been understanding and caring, have been genuinely interested in me and my life outside of work.  But, in all honesty, none of them really hold a candle to my current boss... my principal.  And I am learning first hand why the word is spelt with PAL at the end.

Yesterday, I had to ask her a favor.  Something I considered to be a HUGE favor.  Something I considered to be totally unprofessional to ask of a supervisor.  I went back and forth all morning long, worrying about whether or not I should ask her.  And, I finally bit the bullet and went to her office to ask her.

My palms were sweating, my heart was racing....and I just blurted it out.  

But, after I asked her, she didn't think it was a big deal AT ALL.  She agreed instantly.  Didn't even hesitate or think about it or question why she had been the one I'd asked.  She just agreed as if I was asking her to borrow a pencil.  

And I left her office feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, but also reinforcing what I already knew... how absolutely amazing and caring and supportive she is.  She cares about the kids in our school, but she also cares for all the people that work with those kids.  

It also wouldn't be right to write this post without sending out some kudos to a parent friend, too.  She doesn't work in our school, but her daughter is very good friends with Peanut.  I've spoken about her before, and she is becoming a fast close friend.  Another person I can tell pretty much anything to.  She hasn't hesitated to offer her support and help during this situation, and it's so nice to know that I have someone else I can count my corner...helping me with whatever I need help with.  

And writing this post has made me realize that I can NEVER again complain about not having enough friends in my life.  Because the truth is, it doesn't matter if I'm spending time with them outside of school, or I'm texting them, or I'm involved with the "inside jokes".... I am surrounded by friends each and every day.

I love all of my school family.  They are really like family.  And nobody can every have too much family.

That's something to be truly thankful for.


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