The transition between summer break and the start of school has come and gone and I am finally catching my breath to blog. WOW – what an amazing time it has been! It’s always so inspiring for me when I see kindness in others – I often wish I could screen capture my moments and post instantaneously to share the joy! Here are a few excerpts of the kindness that has been shared around me the past two weeks:
At our very first faculty meeting of the school year, I was presented with the WOW book. This is a new journal we are passing around to co-workers in our school who inspire us in a variety of ways. We write an entry inside the book about why we think that person is special, then we pay it forward to that person so that they can recognize the next WOW member of our school. There is even a special page inside the front cover dedicated to Renee Parr, the first grade teacher who passed away this summer.
When I was called to receive the book, I was humbled beyond words – one of the few times I could barely speak! Even writing this I am awed that someone would find me worthy of this honor. WOW indeed!
One of the highlights of Teacher Work Week is the freedom to choose our own lunch time and eat wherever we want. (No cafeteria food, no frozen lunches for the microwave!) I was delighted to find a coupon for a FREE grilled chicken sandwich – thank you Chick-fil-A for remembering teachers and sharing in kindness!
As I approached the local restaurant, I could tell lots of other teachers were enjoying their free sandwiches, too, because the drive-thru line was wrapped around the lot! I decided to park my car and go inside to place my order. I entered the double doors and saw the line was just as long inside the building. Suddenly the person in front of me turned around and said, “Would you like to go in front of us? We’re still waiting for our friends.” How kind! Within moments I was facing the cashier, placing my order.
Now this alone would be a wonderful RAK, but it gets EVEN better! As I’m standing there contemplating fries vs. salad, I hear a voice over my shoulder saying, “I’m buying her lunch.” I turn around and there is our school’s P.E. teacher, Barry, standing behind me. “What?” I question, still trying to process the fact that I’m getting RAK’d back. “Your lunch. I’m buying it.” I started to protest, and he looked me square in the eyes, using my own words against me: “Don’t deny my the joy in doing a Random Act of Kindness…” All I could do was give him a hug and say thank you, humbled once again.
Then I paid it forward by purchasing a cookie for another teacher in my school (which I placed on her lunchbox when she left her classroom, totally forgetting to take a picture!)
I came to work one day and found this adorable sticky-note pad on my desk, in the shape of an iPhone, with a cute note on top saying, “iHope you have a great year!” I sent an email to my faculty thanking whomever left the surprise, but the RAK giver still remains a mystery. Hopefully they will read this blog and know how much I loved this gift – oh, how it brightened my morning! (And little do they know, but I adore school supplies! The results of being a teacher!)
Following this RAK, I paid it forward by blessing my son’s teacher with an item off her classroom wish list:
At my first team meeting of the school year, this cute little guy below was introduced as the “Hedgehog of Happiness”. One of my teammates said, “Give this to Tamara – it needs to be on her desk!” Oh my gosh, what fun! He made me smile all day! I wish everyone had a “Hedgehog of Happiness” to remind them of the joy found in simple things.
I paid it forward by sending surprises to my children’s teachers and writing a note in my son’s lunchbox.
During the first week of school, I received two RAKs – one was a sweet gift from a kindergartner whose mom used to teach across from me when I was a classroom teacher at another school. Pumpkin Cheesecake handsoap – oh my graciousness, what a wonderful scent! It reminds me of fall and cooler weather. Hand washing is VERY important in our line of work, so now I can stay germ-free while pampering myself a bit at the same time.
The other gift I received was a personalized clipboard from our school’s PTA. How thoughtful! Even though I’m a technologist, I still carry a clipboard in my laptop bag which holds important documents, sign-in sheets, and my to-do list. Now I have a fancy clipboard to replace the boring brown one I’ve been using for years!
As my first week back to school round the corner towards the weekend, I realized I had missed all my favorite exercise classes (Zumba and Body Pump.) For me, that’s the greatest challenge of the school year – trying to meet everyone’s needs and interests while still carving out time for my own. My Zumba instructor, Toni, invited me to meet her for a salsa lesson one night (dancing, not the dip, lol) and I finally made it out. Oh my goodness, THIS was such a fun way to end my first week back at work! Our instructor, Boris, was AMAZING and despite feeling a bit uncoordinated at times, he provided an hour long mental break filled with laughter and learning (that alone was a RAK for me!)
Then as our lesson ended and I pulled out my wallet to pay, Toni reached across me and said, “Oh no, this is my RAK for YOU! Thanks for coming out and dancing tonight!”
(We forgot to take a picture together, so here’s photo of my dancing shoes instead, lol.)
Could this week get ANY better? I smiled all the way home! I also paid it forward by covering the toll money for the person behind me on the highway. 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed my summaries of kindness shared by others in my world – I can’t wait to do more RAKs soon! A little bit of kindness goes a long, long way… who can YOU bless with a little bit of joy this week?
Thanks for reading!