My inservice work this year has been more extensive than years past. I am doing work with community early childhood partners as well as with my colleagues in my school district. It has been exhausting but fulfilling. I still have another week to go but here are my thank yous to those professionals who have planned the work this year. I am benefiting from your summer of thinking and shared wisdom:
Thank you to Tara and Kim, two women who not only bring the energy of their youth, (both under 30!,) but also considerable coaching expertise to our staff as we learn new tools to strengthen and evaluate teacher effectiveness.
Thank you to Janice, a Native American woman who brings her quiet voice and occasional requests for us to be still in our work.
Thank you to Douglas, a health professional with a background of working with families at risk, who is pushing us to incorporate more math and science into our nutrition and healthy practice lessons, and to meet families where they are.
Thank you to Kristine, who used a volleyball game with balloons to break up our day as well as remind us of what we already know: we are trying to keep a lot of balls in the air while occasionally encountering barriers (the ceiling) and changes (popped balloons.)
Thank you to my closest co-workers, who might roll their eyes every once in awhile but in the end listen and have valuable contributions to the process.
Thank you to my friend, Deanna, who, despite being newly retired, still wants to hear about it all.
And thank you to my mom, an ex-schoolteacher, who takes me “school shopping” to celebrate her September birthday because she knows its fun to start the year as though its new even if so much is the same-old, same-old.