The Best Empawyee Ever
Princess Ladybug Lindsey, otherwise known as Bug, kept me sane during the initial days of the pandemic when I was teaching from my bedroom office. I could talk to her just like a coworker, bounce ideas off her cute little furry head, pick her up when a prop was needed and use her as an ongoing excuse to go take a walk outside. It was wonderful. She agreed with all my ideas, never questioned my lesson plans, got more excited than my students did and worked her little nose to the grindstone all day long. She was the consummate paraprofessional as I “attempted” to teach struggling readers to read on Zoom. This task was no easy feat and believe me Bug got me through some of the most trying times with my kiddos. I’ve taught reading for 25 years and never have I ever struggled as much as I did last year. My experience teaching beginning readers from a computer made my decision to retire a great deal easier last spring.
A Better Place to Be
A Better Place to Be I see all kinds of faces, I haven’t seen forever, It really is a shame it took this to get together.
The Other Side
As Christmas carols played in the background, Claire stood frozen, staring at the colored lights blinking on the green, snow-flocked Christmas tree and realized the great irony of her situation. She had been here in this exact location, a few weeks ago, just a handful of steps away on “the other side”. She recalled the day she saw hopelessness in a young mother’s face when she didn’t have enough food for her small child to eat. She watched as the mother took the biscuit from her own plate, tore it into bite-size pieces and put it on her child’s plate. She observed from a distance the deep, heartfelt pain when a father was told he had to sleep separate from his wife and baby. He would sleep on the cold hard floor in the gym so that his wife and baby would have a threadbare blanket and a cot in the hallway. She had silently watched, with tears in her eyes and an ache in her heart, as a young boy licked the last tiny morsels of a biscuit from his plate and begged the volunteers for more. The workers refused his request because they had to follow the rules. “One biscuit per person.” All that had been when she was volunteering on the serving line. Yet now she stood among them not to serve but to be served. She had cooked, encouraged, and loved them with no real understanding of how they felt with no place to call home, never imagining that she would find herself in a position to receive rather than give. Suddenly, it hit her, she was walking in their shoes and the stark reality of what they endured had just begun to reach to the tip of her very soul. She looked around again through different eyes. She felt her heart breaking as she watched a young child cry from hunger. A lone tear ran down her cheek as she saw an old man carrying around a plastic bag full of all his belongings. How could someone fit everything he owned into one small, brown, plastic grocery bag? Then she glanced down at her own suitcase and realized all that was precious to her was in this one small case.