Today and everyday I am thankful for my co-workers. Over the years I have had co-workers who have become some of my very best friends. Often they are people who you see more often than you see your own family. They become just that, family. I am working on establishing that type of relationship with my co-workers here at my new school. Being here without that support and family is part of what makes it difficult to make the transition from one job to another.
At Fossil Ridge we had a community, actually a little hidden community, that few people in the building even knew existed in our little special education suite. We had three classrooms that connected by an interior hallway. That hallway was our lifeline. Along that hallway were a kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. We all bonded in that hallway over the years. Whether it was someone from one room helping someone from another change a student who was not necessarily their responsibility, or passing along the recipe of something wonderful that had been prepared for us the day before. Every birthday was celebrated with great fanfare. We baked cupcakes for every student birthday. We brought food to celebrate every employee birthday. We held a real Thanksgiving Feast for our parents to join us at lunch with their student. We did Secret Santa. There is not a day that goes by that I do no fondly remember something that occurred in that unit. I miss it every day and must remind myself that I moved on for career reasons and that it was time to grow. I am still close with many of them, and see them at home football games on most Friday nights. They were, and always will, be my family!
Here at my new school we are working on building that same type of family bond. Of the 6 teachers/para-professionals in special education on this campus, three of us are new. So, that allows us to grow, while at the same time presents its own challenges. The para-professionals in the other two classrooms are new to their current assignment just as am I. They are each getting to know their teacher just as I am getting to know my para-professional. It’s a work in progress. Unfortunately, we do not have the interior unit that I had at Fossil Ridge, but with a much smaller faculty at this campus, I am actually getting to know a larger percentage of the faculty in just a few months than I did in 6 years at Fossil Ridge.
I realize every day just how important my co-workers are; here and there. I could not do my job most days without the support I receive from an extended network of co-workers I call family. Each and every one of them is just an e-mail or a phone call away, even if they are not here on my campus. Those who are here on my campus have my back and together we are growing more and more; forming a bond that I am sure will be as strong as the bond I have with my former co-workers.
- Thankful Heart: Day 5 (ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com)