Things that Matter

It’s happening again. It’s June; the end is nigh. We race at break neck speed heading towards a grand finale! Then we fall to our knees, hands held high in victory, gasping for air, before we collapse in exhaustion. Or perhaps that’s just me.

There have been many successes. Many things to ‘roar about’. There’s the usual working together as a staff to create our ‘action plan for learning’; the expected sharing of professional ideas. I read some fabulous, spot on report card comments. I witnessed a willingness/desire to not settle for the status quo. If moving forward is success, then we have met our mark.

But I’m thinking, those are the easy things. Truth be told, my fulfilment was found elsewhere. It came in these seemingly small yet very LARGE moments that reached the core of my heart.

A few examples:

A young student riddled with a lack of impulse control, calls out with what could only be described as unbridled joy, ‘this is my BEST day EVER!’  This after an indoor bike parade, because Sports Day was cancelled due to rain. Talk about making lemonade. 

The ‘Hi, Mr. Perry, are you the Vice Princess?’ (And yes, I was Mr. Perry all year to this youngster)

Many Kindergarten, pre-K,  and Grade one spontaneous hugs – usually from a running start.

The ever-so polite young man, who didn’t walk by me without asking how my day was going. And then waiting for an answer.

Library helpers asking for extra time to help. Just because they like books. Wow!

Sitting with grief, along side students who have experienced loss that would cripple adults. Later praying that these young souls hang on to hope; that their future will be filled with possibilities in spite of the chaos they live in now. 

Staff loving (mocking means loving, right?) my PA announcements. 

Laughing until we cried, with staff and students.

Witnessing the restorative action of forgiveness – at all ages.

Sharing the contagious excitement with a group of students as they celebrate a classmate’s great work…’Mrs. Perry, look at the book he wrote, it’s awesome!’

Mary Gordon, the founder of Roots of Empathy says that ‘Love Grows Brains’. I smile as I write this because that surely has been my experience. Love and relationship. We’re not a perfect bunch, like most schools, we have our weak spots, our ‘room for improvement’ areas. However, we also have strong relationships, between staff, parents, and students. We are getting better at wrestling down our differences respectfully and accepting new ideas with humility.

As we enter into our last week with students and staff, I am celebrating the work we collectively have done. We mindfully live the truth; Better is Possible.

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