Today was one of those days. I knew it would be, and I tried to prepare myself. But when the alarm went off at too-early-o’clock in the morning, I mentally groaned. It was a collaboration day at one of my schools, which meant that teachers would arrive in shifts to do some professional reading and talk about their work with conferring in their classrooms. I had been excited all week for this day to come, with its opportunities to sit down for a block of time and dig deep with discussions about one of my favorite topics. I knew, however, that it was going to be intense…and it was.
Kids were misbehaving in the hallway. Teachers were stressed about being ready for their sub. People were swarming around the meeting room. A new family arrived to register their students for Monday. Conversations went off track. There were even a few tears shed over a conflict that seemed unsolvable. I found myself taking notes, answering questions, explaining and clarifying goals, finding resources in online, and adding item after item to my coaching “to do” list. But in the midst of all the chaos, I looked up and caught my principal’s eye…and he was looking over the room and smiling for all he was worth. “This is IT!” he whispered to me. “This is exactly how it should be for collaboration. Just listen to them!”
And he was right. Teachers were tossing ideas back and forth and debating how best to work with their kids. They were asking tough questions and trying to answer them in the same breath. They were arguing about what doesn’t work for them and trying to design something that would. And they were giving me the chance to work alongside them through it all. I realized in that moment that I was letting myself get so caught up in the stressed feeling of making this day run smoothly that I wasn’t catching the blessed part.
Every teacher that gives me a chance to work alongside her in the classroom is a blessing. It’s a gift I don’t take lightly. Each request for more materials, new books to share, or information to deepen understanding is a blessing, even if it means I need to add more pages to my to-do list. I love researching those things for teachers! And I am thankful for every day that can be spent working with people who love doing what they do even when it’s hard. It’s very easy to get caught up in the details of the day or to let the commotion of life make its noise in my head. I’m so thankful that today I found the way to stop the stressing and feel the blessing!