Tonight as I sit in the quiet of my porch with the fountain gurgling in the background and crickets chirping happily, I am reflecting upon the blessings of a really, strong, cohesive work team.
I am a public school educator. A teacher in my heart who works as an academic officer by day in a large, public school system serving 41,000 students.
The work is hard. Harder than I ever imagined all those years ago when I first accepted the job. Harder than it has to be in reality, and yet there is something that gets me through each really tough day filled with unimaginable struggles that only an educator can truly understand. The thing that gets me through on those exceptionally tough days, much like Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, when everything has gone wrong and things fell to pieces before you have ever left the sanctuary of your home, is the blessings of a strong, cohesive work team.
How did I ever get so lucky I ask myself? I am surrounded day in and day out with really good people who want to serve teachers and schools and who truly have the best interest of the students in their hearts. They cheer their team mates, and they do the heavy lifting of the system in unison. They do not bicker. They do not fuss. They respect their colleagues and seek their counsel. These are the kind of people with whom I work. Wise, strong, and good to the bone!
One of my favorite pieces of literature is Sartre’s No Exit. If you are not familiar with that piece it is well worth reading. I will not give it away here, but let me just say it is built upon the premise of how hard it would be to spend eternity with people you do not like nor respect. Working day in and day out in that kind of environment would be a purgatory on earth.
So as I reflect upon the lives of my two young adult children I realize that I have a wish for them. It is my wish that they will be able to spend their career in the company of a really strong, cohesive work team. One that is kind, good to each other and that likes to laugh. One that accepts your shortcomings and forgives you when you hurt their feelings or are insensitive. One like I have been blessed to know.
What a beautiful tribute to the power of a collaborative, collegial learning community! Public school educators today face so many challenges both externally as political influences drive policy and internally as we seek to innovate and transform. The shared vision and passion of a supportive team of lifelong learners are what make the work both possible and joyful!
Great post, Cindy. Keep them coming! It really is an awesome feeling to be surrounded by good, reliable people. Educating children is not a job that can be done alone. It takes a lot of people in a variety of roles and responsibilities to make magic happen!