Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Boss and My Job - Blessing #12

   For this entry, I am going to try to put into words how I feel about the principal for whom I have worked these past four years, but in order to do that I am going to have to go way, way back to the beginning of it all.  In 1960 I began my career as a second grade teacher in West Palm Beach. Florida, at only 20.  That job was the beginning of a most unbelievably rewarding career as an elementary/middle school teacher spanning almost a half century....oh. my, I’m old!,  I had many principals, but none left much of a mark on me. I figure there were about twelve or so, but not one of them was a person to scream and holler about or try to emulate. Each was efficient in the job he did, but they all lacked something.

   Four years ago that all changed when I came to work under an educator who loves ALL children: rich, poor, good, not so good, argumentative, silent, loved, unloved, girl, or boy. This occurred because I did not like my self-imposed early retirement....I missed the children, I  had never done anything professionally but teach, and I simply wanted to return to the school setting.  Fortunately, our county superintendent felt I still had something to offer and rehired me to be an SMR/ Student Management Room teacher or is simpler terms, the in-school suspension teacher. Well, I love it!  I can finally be an advocate for those middle school children who do not, for whatever reason, have the skills or the desire to sit in a classroom quietly and attentively. I have no lesson plans to write, no faculty meetings to attend, no papers to grade, and no grades to average.  All I have to do is be there for my kids and treat them as I would want them to treat me...and LISTEN.

   Our little school sits way out in the county nestled on a hill and surrounded by a majestic panorama of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  It is a small, up close and personal little place steered by a principal who is very kind to the children, his staff, and me.  He makes me laugh when I am down and teases me when I’m up, but everyday, all day, he is there for me and my little family of dysfunctional, unhappy, frustrated, sometimes unloved, and many times emotionally crippled 12-16 year olds. He accepts them as they are with unconditional love and respect. He listens to their stories while at the same time only speaking when the time is right to help guild them to where they can see and understand the wrongs of their behaviors. The children appreciate what he does for them and are very fond of him. They need him.  Working side by side with such an honorable man has been a wonderful opportunity for me. Some of the days have been rough, terribly frustrating, and stressful, but having him there to support me in what I am trying to do makes it all O.K. He’s shown me so many kindnesses and respect.  Because of him and his vision for education, I will finally be able to REALLY retire before too long with a great big smile on my face and a banner flying from my back of my car as I drive out of the parking lot saying.....THANK YOU, MR. PRINCIPA ! Yes, you and your little red brick schoolhouse out in the middle of the countryside are my Blessing #11.

“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”
~William Shakespeare


creation said...

Dear Genie,
I want to do the blessing square again may be 30-32 years from now ,when I formally retire from my work [thou the saying goes that a doctor and a teacher never retire }.
I guess you can really look back and come out with loads of intence meaningful blessings you have recived over the time .
I am blessed as always by reading your post .
God bless this lovely red brick school family too.

Genie Robinson said...

You are just too kind. I love reading your comments. They always give me the warm fuzzes. Hugs...Genie

Paula said...

Your principal sounds like two, of the 6, I was lucky enough to work for. They taught me SO MUCH when it came to relating to children from across the social, physical, ethnic, monetary fields. Hopefully, I passed some of what they taught me to those younger teachers I taught with.
:o} paula

Genie Robinson said...

Paula...I think of myself as an equal opportunity teacher and a pretty good listener, but these last four years I have learned SO MUCH from him. If he really starts to get upset, he’ll just bring the child to me, steps aside, and return later; he’s wonderful with them. As the captain of the ship he’s an advocate for all the kids, but I get to be the advocate of those no one seems to want in the classroom for whatever the reason. I really do love them, and it’s my hope I’ve been able to help them in some little way. Thanks for your comment...I love hearing from you. Hugs and have a GREAT weekend...Genie

heather said...

Genie ~ I stopped by to see your blessings work and have really enjoyed your work and your wonderful stories that go along with each square. You truly have a blessed life. Take care. ~ heather

Genie Robinson said...

Heather....Thanks for commenting. Yes, I feel very blessed, and I am happy you like the stories and explanations I have been writing. Sometimes I fear they are too long and people do not want to read long items. I am on my way to my grandson's graduation from high school so am full of excitement. Put in my mother's handkie in case I fall apart on Sunday. Keep your fingers cross I can hold it together. Hugs, Genie