It was the second day of a new journey I will call the Swing Set. To give you some background my father had guilted me into buying my kids a giant swing set from Costco. The price was right and with his help, I could afford it. “There are only two left” he proclaimed not allowing me the option of procrastination until the decision was made for me like I usually do.
Five giant boxes later my calendar was filled for the week. Every hour not working online would be dedicated to the swing set. On Day one it took me two hours just to unpack everything and get it ready to assemble. Every piece of wood was numbered and had to be laid out in order. A table was set up and was looking closer to the letter u than I would have liked due to the weight of four boxes of bolts, nuts, washers, and screws.
In total, I put in over four hours of work on day 1 and was on step 10 of 55. Not exactly blazing speed. If this was an episode of Man vs Swing Set; Swing Set would have destroyed me.
The next day I was ready to start again. Kidz Bop was blaring over the speaker because that is my favorite music to listen to, or my children were “helping me”. You decide. I wouldn’t say I was frustrated but I wasn’t cool calm and collected when my youngest hit the screws off the platform I was working on into the thick grass never to be seen again.
At this moment a small sporty Mercedes pulled into my driveway. It was a two-door sleek black vehicle much too inconvenient to be of use to Amazon or UPS which were the only other vehicles to grace the driveway in the past month.
As the driver got out of the car I experienced a moment of something isn’t right. Something similar to a 7-year-old seeing their teacher in the grocery store or the mall. The idea that this doesn’t make sense. Why is this person here? I thought all of our interactions happen in that brick building.
The driver was one of my administrators named Dr. Toohey. He proceeded to place a red rose down on the ground along with a cookie in the shape of an apple and decorated with the phrase Thank You.
Instantly I realized that the administrators at my school were dropping off teacher appreciation gifts to all the staff. The momentous amount of time and effort needed to do this for every teacher in the school was not lost on me. Lawerence Intermediate School has teachers from all over NJ and into PA.
I will never hate on a free meal. I love when the teachers get lunch or breakfast at school. Driving to every single teacher’s house was so far above and beyond the norm that it made me feel appreciated in a way I have never been before. It was even better than a glowing evaluation or an email stating how great an event or lesson had gone. This was people giving up their time to show appreciation for their staff. To me, time is the ultimate gift. It is so precious that I personally feel honored when someone is willing to give me some of theirs.
So thank you Dr. Toohey, Ms. Fischer, and Ms. Rello for showing our staff how much you really do appreciate us. Your actions spoke much louder than any words could.