Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to School Pick-Me-Up

What started out as a hopeful and enthusiastic back to school year took a turn earlier this week.  After an engaging welcome back faculty breakfast and meeting last Wednesday, we were all feeling ready and excited about the school year.  Teachers were working hard in their classrooms and meeting to plan with their teammates.  I felt blessed to be a part of this community again and we were all ready for Meet the Teacher on Monday night.  Then, we got the news.  Because we were short of our projected number of students, we were going to lose a teacher.  I guess with budget cuts and uncertainties there was just no wiggle room, and our principal sadly had to share this news with our staff hours before students would arrive to meet their teachers.  Three teams and five teachers were directly affected by this change in assignment.  We were dealing with big changes accompanied by big stress.  Our school community in many ways is like a family, and everyone pitched in to help move our teachers around the building, situate them into their new classrooms, and share lesson plans for the first few days.  The community feel was unlike anything I had seen before.  I know that everyone, myself included, is trying hard to not let the changes and stress affect the first week for our students.  However, despite our best efforts, this has been a challenging start.  With this extra strain during our first week, I felt like as a school community, we needed a pick me up.

I did some brainstorming and decided to go with an idea for a dessert bar that I’ve seen on other counseling blogs and pinterest.  I was keeping it in my pocket to use on a rainy day (I didn’t know that it would come to us so early this year, but Que Sera, Sera).  I talked with my principal about putting together the dessert bar for our staff during lunch on Friday to lift people’s spirits and encourage and reward their resiliency and perseverance.  She loved the idea!  Setting it up was a lot of fun too and the teachers really appreciated this simple gesture of thanks.  I replenished the desserts throughout the various lunch times so that all teachers would be able to enjoy it, but other than that it was a fun and easy thing to do to celebrate our well-deserved Friday.

Despite the stress and strain of this first week, I know that our teachers will continue to bounce back and work hard to love our students and  move them forward.  I hope that you’ve all had fabulous starts to your school years!

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