(No, that’s not me in 1967. That’s Lulu! I was nine years old at the time. Do you remember “To Sir with Love”?)
A few years back I told a school staff that I was there to love them. You could have heard a pin drop! Those who knew me chuckled but those who didn’t were scared half to death! Why? I reprimanded myself initially and put the whole concept on a back burner. I was already the drama teacher. Did I need to make it even harder for them to relate to me? I began to show my love in actions rather than bursts of enthusiasm. Small loving gestures like tea, muffins, planting a food bank garden or going on a walk provided noteworthy outcomes: knowing glances, subtle tears, whispered confessions and often laughter. Was I onto something?
Recently I thought I would take it up a notch and offer some focused in services for teachers based on love. How would that work? Well, the story is everything to me so entertaining the group was essential. What else? My personal testimony sharing memories of the love path! There’s lots of laughter there, mostly at my expense, but I enjoy my “fool” status knowing it is a wise teacher. Hmmmm. But how do I reach the teacher that doesn’t want his/her time wasted? Got it! I will throw in a story structure sample so, at the least, they can leave with a concrete offering.
Picture me handing out “Manna muffins” (food from heaven) with handwritten tags attached. Envision a staff, some with arms crossed and sighing heavily, while others pretending to listen as a million lists crowd their thoughts. Hey, don’t feel guilty! I did the same thing. Then, watch it unfold.
If I can connect with even a few teachers who really need to hear that
who they are
what they offer
I have been successful.
Teachers are inundated with expectations. I believe it’s time to build them up not tear them down “shoulding” them to death. They are living, breathing, sensitive people trying to do their best. They are not perfect and neither are the students they are guiding. We are all on a journey to awareness. Loving someone through it will provide a much healthier future for everyone.
Maybe an hour with me will be just the affirmation they need. And now, I shall crank up Lulu singing in the background while I churn out a batch of Saskatoon muffins.
I love you, teachers!