I proudly work as an educator. I have done so in many capacities in my “adult life”. I’ve been blessed to be a fitness leader in a Behavioural Neurology Unit at a Toronto hospital, a Life Skills Coach at a psychiatric hospital, a Junior and Intermediate Teacher, a Literacy Coach and currently, an Instructional Leader. Each of my positions has allowed me to develop relationships with all sorts of amazing people that I deeply respect and consider extended family.
Next week is a recognized week of “kindness” here in the TLDSB where, as school communities, we recognize and perform “acts of kindness” to celebrate. If I were to define “kindness”, it is actually a quality that is demonstrated by generosity and good will. I have worked with countless individuals who have that attribute and consistently choose to display it. In addition, I get to see kids, daily, exercise varying degrees of kindness.
I understand that there may be many that feel that a “defined” week of kindness is hokey and perhaps even more, a gross under representation of how we should be celebrating such acts. But, I’d like to offer something more.
As educators, we are constantly helping, fixing, worrying, giving and with varying additions, repeating that cycle daily. For the most part, it’s who we are and it feels good.
When my Mom was receiving chemotherapy, I noticed the kind team of chemo nurses and how they cared for sick people with such grace, generosity and a high degree of attention. Then, I noticed their proudly posted nursing unit goal which stated: To create a cohesive team and promote work-life balance for staff. It made me immediately think of my hard working colleagues. Why are we not taking better care of each other and ourselves?
So, it is my hope that having a “defined” week of kindness reminds us all:
1. To celebrate all that we do for others because we choose to do so.
2. To notice and celebrate the kind acts our students do and ,
3. Most importantly and above all, to be especially kind to ourselves.
To all of my incredible colleagues, past and present, thank you for all that you do and try to be kind to YOU more often by finding some work-life harmony.