There are some people that come into your life and you can never remember that exact moment happening.
It just feels like they have somehow been there all along.
Some of the most stressful and rewarding careers can be found in the education field. Children look to teachers for guidance, knowledge, strength, and even love. We as teachers face many issues in helping grow the minds and hearts of these students. When teachers have an administration that supports them in the classroom and in their personal lives, they are that much stronger for it.
My assistant principal is retiring this week and she is a major reason why many of us in our school continue to have a passion for this challenging field.
To come to work each day and have someone that builds us up with praise and confidence was priceless. It goes a long way when she walks in the classroom to spend time with students just to hear them read their writing or share something important with her. Their eyes light up and they just get so excited. She cares for all of the staff and is always looking out for everyone even during her busiest moments.
Connections didn’t just happen within the school walls.
Many years ago, when my husband and I wanted to start a family we found out it would not be an easy road. She shared her own stories and listened as I poured my heart out. Somehow I just felt better with her telling me I was going to get through this even if I didn’t believe it at the time. Throughout the years she smiled and checked on me as I waited.
One morning before I told anyone I was pregnant, I remember eating out of a huge box of Cheerios and making eye contact with her. I thought for sure she could guess. I could barely contain my excitement when I shared my news. You know you are truly in a good place when your boss is just as excited as your family. One of my favorite memories while pregnant was eating her homemade cheesecake. I couldn’t get enough of it and thankfully it became known around the school that if her cheesecake was in the building, someone needed to share with me! When I began this blog, she was one of the very first to sign up and start reading. Just the other day, she walked into my room wondering why there hasn’t been anything new lately. It sometimes take something so special to cure a case of writers block.
She has showed many of us how to build a team up and cheer each other on. Little acts of kindness and checking in can mean so much. For anyone who has worked with a wide range of personalities you know that when you turn staff into a family, you are doing so many things right.
Many years have gone by. I have lost count of the actual number but it is enough to know that just because someone retires or leaves the building doesn’t truly mean they have left.
Strong leaders always leave something behind. It could be in your heart, in your style, in your personality.
One of the biggest reasons we find ourselves in education is to make a difference.
Mrs. Jenkins, you truly did…in so many ways.