I just spent the morning at Dude's Winter Concert rehearsal and I am awed, amazed and inspired by the teachers at his school. By all teachers, really.
As I sat there, praying the props I made didn't fall apart during the performance, I watched the hive of activity in the auditorium in absolute wonder. One teacher was walking through the risers making kids spit their gum into a Styrofoam cup while another teacher tried to sort out the order that the kids were to stand in. Another teacher was on the stage reviewing lines with the actors while yet another was adjusting mics and props. A few EAs were straightening chairs and mopping up the quickly melting snow from the aisle while a few more helped a group of students finish up their homework from the previous night. Still more teachers and EAs were putting up decorations, hanging up coats, picking up stray mitts and hats, handing out kleenex and a myriad of other tasks. And in the center of it all was the music teacher who was calmly giving directions and answering dozens of questions at once.
As I watched the teachers and students pull together their performance I thought about the general chaos and busyness of this season. We all have a million things on our plates, a never ending list of places to be, things to buy and treats to bake. We rush around in a flurry of activity trying our best to hold onto our holiday spirit as we scurry about making last minute preparations. We are all busy but teachers, I think, have twice the pressure.
Not only do they have their own families and children to care for but they also have the added responsibility to balance the needs and expectations of their students (and their families). I have volunteered in my kids' schools enough to know that teachers rarely leave their work at 'the office' especially at this time of year. Most teachers spend countless added hours making holiday treats, planning crafts, finding appropriate 'fresh' ideas for poems, songs and activities to add to our children's holiday season. The work is seemingly endless yet they do it, and they do it willingly and with a joyful heart.
These teachers, EAs and school support staff are extraordinary people. Remember that and bless them this holiday season with your appreciation and kind words.......and very nice gifts ;-)