Monday, August 5, 2013

They say that June is a teacher's Friday, July is his or her Saturday, and August is their Sunday.

Well, it's Sunday.

Weekend analogies aside, it's that time of year that most teachers both dread and embrace.  The time when vacations end, sleeping in turns to alarm clocks ringing at o'dark thirty, running errands during the day ends, and keeping the house cleaned and family members well fed comes to a screeching halt.  It's also the time when they run through Staples like it's a candy store, go 'school clothes shopping' for themselves, make plans and re-visit classrooms, and attend the school district's 'Pump You Up' meeting to get ready for the incoming masses.  It's sad.  It's fun.  It's the beginning of a new school year.

Last year, I embraced an energetic group of Kindergartners that tested me to the very core, as support staff.  I loved them with all my heart and soul and watched them grow and become 1st graders by June.  Even though the general public (and their parents) may think I'm crazy, I missed them over the summer.  It's always sad to see them go.

But... it's great fun to see them come back.

They'll run through the halls to find their new classrooms and 1st grade teachers (all of which I call good friends).  However, on their way, they will find a small moment to head to the Kindergarten Hall, hunt me down, and say hello.  While I know they'll be in good hands with their new teachers, for a fraction of a second, I will long to see them for more than a few moments outside the door.

... And then the new kindergartners will arrive.

Wide-eyed and nervous, some scared and crying, some bouncy and happy... they will file one by one into the classroom to begin their new adventure in education.  Hopefully, I will have a positive impact on them.  I will love and care for them as they were my own and maybe, just maybe...

... I'll miss them next summer too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Enjoy the Daily Hug

If there is one thing that I love about kindergarten students is that they love to hug.  They hug each other, they hug their parents, their pets, their stuffed animals and sometimes, if you look friendly enough, their teachers.

I have two little kindergarteners this year who have taken it upon themselves to bless me with what they call the Daily Hug.  Any any moment, one of the two will run to me and wrap their arms around whatever part of me is closest (this can sometimes be embarrassing with a parent volunteer in the room) and yell, "Daily Hug!"  This act is unsolicited and genuine and I can always count on it (and them) to make me smile.

It made me wonder what the environment of any work place would be like if co-workers went around throwing their arms around one another yelling, "Daily Hug!" at the top of their mature lungs.   A little scarey you say?  Shocking?  Disturbing?  Unproductive?  Personally, I think it would bring people closer.  They would be more collaborative with one another.  I mean, how can you be crappy to someone you just yelled, "Daily Hug!" to while wrapping your arms around them???  Impossible!

All the above aside, I realized that the Daily Hug makes my environment all that more interesting, fun and relaxing.  My stress level, if only for a moment, dissipates and a smile comes to my face.  And, let's be honest, we all need to smile more and frown less.

So, the next time your cube-mate, co-worker, boss or significant other look down in the dumps or mad as a hornet, try the Daily Hug.  I guarantee you'll be the talk of workplace and might even be surprised at the responses you get.