Educators are some of the most helpful people you will ever meet. Wouldn’t you agree? I mean, I can think of about 10 educators off the top of my head who have gone above and beyond in the past week just for the sake of being helpful. It’s one of the things that I love most about working in this profession. Additionally, I constantly observe educators who are “real.” Real people, doing every day life in real ways.
For the past two months, mailing in my paperwork for my admin credential to be "cleared" has been hanging over my head. One of those things that I just couldn’t cross off my “to do” list. Despite several reminders from my colleagues, I was still stressing that I wouldn’t get everything in on time since I misplaced my completion certificates. Thankfully, I did find my certificates but then, all of the sudden, as if an angel sent me a personal email, I received a shared Google Doc from Sheila Garvey, one of my principal friends. Sheila, who was going through the same process to clear her admin credential, took the time to create a Google Doc with step by step instructions on how to complete the process, and then she shared it with our team. This wasn’t just any step-by-step instruction doc, this was legit. Sheila embedded links, forms, payment information, the whole nine yards all in 16 steps.
Sheila’s effort and time got me thinking about how so many educators with such ease, step into a helper role just because it feels like the right thing to do. And for that, I was so grateful to have Sheila as a friend, colleague, and fellow admin credential holder.
And then there are the "real" moments in life where I realize I work with a some very real people. This past weekend, as I enjoyed a pedicure with my girlfriend, Jenny, (yes, the same Jenny that I referenced in my last post) I was given the opportunity to realize just how “real” most educators are. Here Jenny and I were in a little nail salon on Third Street in San Rafael, feeling super guilty for sneaking in an hour of relaxation during our weekend. I mean let’s be real, Sunday afternoons are for grading papers, planning for the week, and responding to work emails right? I had to practically beg Jenny to break away from grading and report cards just to get a pedicure with me. In fact, I asked her if we could do a little shopping as well but her response was, “I wish I could, friend, but I just have WAY too much to prep for the week.”
And there we were, two educators, having a “real” moment together. Jenny sat grading papers and giggling as Tom tried his best not to tickle her feet too much with his pampering. I sat using the Sched App on my phone to plan my sessions for the upcoming CUE Conference in Palm Springs. I don’t at all want to come across as judgmental because I really try my best not to judge others but during this particular afternoon, I couldn’t help but overhear some of the other conversations in the nail salon. And quite frankly, I was bothered.
“I can’t wait to get botox again tomorrow. I just need it so badly.”
“Oh my gosh, it’s SO great to be here! I haven’t had a pedicure in TWO weeks!”
“Where is your dad this week?” “Oh, he’s on vacation with his girlfriend until April 29th. I think they are in Morocco this time.”
“Cut that nail shorter, I said I like it short.”
Ehhhhh…..I sunk down in my chair, turned up the massage button, and breathed in the smell of acetone masked by lavender bath salts. I sat there thinking. I am so grateful that someone taught me along the way (my parents, teachers, family friends, my husband) what really matters in life. I’m so glad I don’t feel the world owes me a pedicure every two weeks (although that would be heavenly). I’m blessed that I view wrinkles as a sign of life, beauty, love, laughter, and sunshine. I’m thrilled that my dad isn’t riding a camel in the dessert for months on end, and I sure as heck am proud of the fact that no matter how important I may one day think I am, or how wealthy I may find myself in the distant future (doubtful, but who knows), I feel certain that I will always speak with kindness, compassion, and heartfelt words to those around me.
It would be naive of me to think that “helpers” and “real people” are only found in education, for we all know many people who fit this mold in a variety of locations, positions, and life stages. But for me, I love that I get to surround myself daily with those who can’t help but to help, and can’t help but to be real. Sheila and Jenny, keep it real girls.