Thursday, April 3, 2014

Surprise Visits. So Much More.

It was just another ordinary day.  I mean, don't get me wrong, it was April Fool's Day which always has me a little nervous at what could or could not happen on campus, but April 1st was just another morning.  I had driven to work around 7:30am, resisting the urge to check emails, text messages or Twitter. That's something that I struggle with often on my drive.  It's the only 25 minutes a day where I have complete solitude and quiet.  Sometimes it feels like the perfect time to "catch up" or "connect" but I really try hard to enjoy the scenery, belt out a few songs, and stay safe.  On this particular morning, I talked to a few colleagues on my drive, got to school, and did our morning announcements before beginning my "office day".  

It wasn't long before my lovely Office Manager said, "Mrs. Fadeji, you have a special guest here!" and low and behold, in walked @EduTrace!!!  Now, let me tell you a little about @EduTrace, also known as Tracy Walker.  Last year, when I was new to Twitter, I started following Tracy because she seemed like a fabulous teacher! We occasionally conversed about different hot topics and favorited each others posts from time to time.  I immediately loved her wit, her spunky personality, and the way she cared about her students.  We finally met face to face at EdCamp Sonoma (there is another one coming up April 12th! Details here) last year and I am pretty positive that I almost took her to the floor with my enthusiastic hug upon first sight! 

Months later, I now consider Tracy a dear friend who I treasure deeply.  We just connected from day one, and I always look forward to any time I get to spend with her.  I've been trying to convince her to bring her children to Penngrove, but the year round schedule and distance from her house makes it nearly impossible.  Selfishly, I just want more of the Walker Clan! Is this an ode to @EduTrace you may be asking, no, not really.  What I want to depict is the special nature of her visit.  

Special April Fool's names on our coffees!
Tracy has two toddlers.  She gets one week off for Spring Break. Her parents are in town visiting. I am SURE she had a list of things to do, people to see, places to visit.  But what did she do on her Tuesday morning?  She surprised me with a venti vanilla latte and visited classrooms with me for a good thirty minutes. She talked to students, she posed for pictures, she connected with teachers.  It was the best 30 minutes of my day.  A precious moment in life when a teacher, whom I admire, took time on her vacation to come give me a hug and scope out my school...just because.  It's moments like these that I am grateful for Twitter, for EdCamps, for all of the many educators who work so hard to facilitate professional connections.  Without these avenues for building a PLN, I may never have met Tracy.  The thought of that alone is difficult, as she challenges me to be a better administrator with her thought-provoking questions, and her innate desire to always be learning more.

I survived April Fool's without anything surprising, wild, scary, or troublesome happening at school. Except for of course, a selfless and sacrificial visit from one of the most lovely people I have met in the past year. Thanks for stopping by for a surprise visit @EduTrace.  To me, your visit was: So Much More.

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