Thursday, September 18, 2008

We bicker like family.

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.

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Blogger Flea said...

What a sweet post! I don't think it's possible to ask too much more than to love the people with whom you work. Fortunate indeed!

9/18/2008 8:20 AM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That says a lot about your building! Morale means so much in schools.

9/18/2008 10:15 AM  
Blogger paper napkin said...

This just warms my little heart.

9/18/2008 11:25 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Awww. You're so fortunate to have so many colleagues who care. And to be happy where you work (because you teachers really are underappreciated).

I loved this post.

9/18/2008 12:16 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

What a delightful post. You're so lucky to have such nice colleagues. And one with a coffee stash? Make sure you stay on her good side!

9/18/2008 4:22 PM  
Blogger Lynn - the piggy bank painter said...

Great post. Wish I had coworkers like that. But it's just me, myself and I : )

9/18/2008 5:28 PM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

That's touching.
I guess all jobs have politics, but it's good to know your co-workers are there to pick you up when you are down!

9/19/2008 12:39 AM  
Blogger Good N Crazy said...

I'm like in tears here over your spilt coffee and friendly teacher co-workers. Probably because some of the most amazing people I've known (and know) have been (and are) my own kids' teachers.

Everyone go kiss a teacher.

I stumble U.

9/19/2008 6:54 PM  

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