"Individually, we are a drop. Together, we are an ocean." (Ryunosuke Satoro)
Today was the first "official" day back to work for the teachers of South Medford. Though many of us had already been bustling around the building for weeks, like squirrels trying to find our winter nuts, today was the first time we were all together in our new building.
A part of many "first day's back" are "Team Building Activities" (especially if you have a new principal or a very enthusiastic one). Many times, teachers grumble at these, but I like them! Probably due to the 20 years I spent coaching basketball during which I would do many of the same things. This year's "first day back" seemed an especially good time for this kind of thing. We were opening a new building; we had a rare opportunity to both create a "new culture", and to renew those things we held dear.
My colleagues, and I, seemed to approach the activities with a surprising level of enthusiasm! We ran like crazy kids around the school, competing to be the first to finish a scavenger hunt (and managed to learn the layout of the school at the same time - amazing!). And then we grunted, and groaned, and sweated and strained, and heaved and huffed, and then gloated like victorious gladiators in the Team Tug of War (My team won! Arrrggggh!)
And, in the end, I walked away with some welcome reminders.
That we ALL will be successful this year, if we're willing to be patient and to work together. We teachers, are so often "captains in our own little boats". But if we sail as a fleet of "Horatio Hornblowers", tooting the same tune, we are so much more effective.
That there is no substitute for hard work. Day after day, week after week - trying to help kids. But being willing to have a little fun - to laugh and play while toiling - makes it a little bit easier. I want to look for those "playtimes" more often this year.
And that, every school year... every school day... is a NEW one - even for this "old veteran". Something new can be learned, if I'll just dare to BE new. The world that I'm part of is a product of the decisions I make, especially inwardly. It really is that simple. It really is my choice.
I'm glad to have stumbled across those "pearls" again today. But I paid a price for them. I gloated like a 20 year old after the Tug of War, but I'll be hobbling a bit like the 52 year old that I am tonight!
"On y va!" (in search of some Ben-Gay)