Cultivation of Connection

Today I met with one of my colleagues to plan for a mini conference we are putting together. In our presentation we want to make the point to our district administration the power that connection holds on educators. When we feel connected to one another, we want to do better by those people we are connected to.

This work of feeling connected is REALLY difficult in school spaces. As educators we have been trained to make judgements, to create challenges for students based on where we judge them to be, to find the areas of possibility for our students…AND this means that it is hard for us to turn it off with our colleagues and with ourselves.

It takes work and PRACTICE to cultivate spaces of openness towards one another, places where we can be honest about our struggles, and to say the things out loud that are hard to say.

My question for you, dear reader, is what and where are the spaces where you cultivate a practice of connection in your teaching life?

Springtime’s the Right Time

Spring is a really difficult time for teachers, that time just before Spring Break – that time when the behaviors of adults and students have simply become too much to bear. Things that could slide off in the fall, not longer hold their charm – this time of year they simply make us angry.

Despite doing the work with the inciting offenders, this time of year they continue to…well…offend.

This year I am handling my general malaise differently. Rather than getting dragging in and dragged under, I choose to show unending love towards the people who are positive influences in my life. This might be a soft note to a co-worker. Or an ice cream cone with my daughter. Or dinner with my brother. Or simply running through my day with my husband while I cook dinner.

After all, the meaning of life – the happiness we all deserve – is in the seemingly small moments. So my challenge to all of you sweet teachers out there is this: take a moment today to show those you love a little ray of sunshine.