Today was a day to get some decluttering done at my house. I had been ignoring that task the past few weeks. Let’s face it, anyone would rather hang out with friends and family, bake, shop, and decorate as opposed to clean and declutter, right? Well, now that Christmas day is over and New Year’s Day looms in the not-too-distant future, today was THE day to clean up, clear out, and pitch the stuff that has been piling up this past month.
As I was clearing off a side table, I found a stack of birthday cards. I’m (a little) embarrassed to say that they’ve been there since my birthday in early November. Oh, I haven’t completely ignored cleaning my house since then – honest. I’ve given the housework “a lick and a promise,” as my mom always said. I’m glad I kept these cards because after looking at them and reading them once again, I was reminded of all the friends and loved ones I have in my life. People who care. People who support me. People who share a history, and those who are helping me create new memories.
What does any of this have to do with teaching, learning, and/or coaching? Well, everything. As an educator, nothing happens with children or colleagues without first establishing trusting relationships. Teaching and learning is very personal, so those with whom we work must be trusted. One of the most special cards I reread today is from my husband of 28 years. He wrote, “I’m so very thankful to have had such a wonderful, loving, caring person to travel [through life] with.” Isn’t that what we all want – to have someone to travel through life with who will care for us and help us as we navigate the complexities of teaching and learning? Don’t all of us need someone who will celebrate the ups and also lift us up during the down times because, let’s face it, there will be down times when you are an educator. This career we’ve chosen is not as perfect as those on the outside looking in seem to think. (“It must be nice to work 8:30 – 3:00 and have your entire summer off.” Yeah, right. If only.)
As this calendar year ends and we prepare to ring in the new, take a moment to think about all those who have helped you along the way. Those you’ve trusted and those who have supported you through the thick and thin of teaching and learning. After all, no one survives this work without first establishing trusting and honest relationships with the people around us.
Happy New Year and Blessings to all!