I work at an awesome school. My bias is 100%. Student-taught, taught, now admin. 100% fan, #1 cheerleader, first in line to roll up my sleeves.
This morning the whiteboard in the staff room today said, “Aqus, 4pm,” which translates to a glass of wine or Lagunitas on tap in a laid back cafe right down the block from our school. The glass of wine or beer (or water–we don’t discriminate) includes student stories, successes, near-misses, family stories, future travel talk, books we’re reading and everything in between.
And they even welcome me to the table! I’ve recently learned that some staff have lines in the sand around inclusion of their admin. I can’t even picture not reading that whiteboard open-invite as including me.
So there we sat, in the middle of Aqus, 11 total (including 2 husbands–always welcome), laughing, sharing, sometimes a story for the table, sometimes in smaller groups, always animated and smiling. On a Friday evening, even the worst near-miss has a humorous side. And we can dust ourselves off, look to a rejuvenating 2 days and focus on celebrating the successes.
I especially love when the conversation moves to our own families. We are a pretty tight staff, but there’s always so much to know and learn about a person. I learned that one of our 4th grade teachers makes lip balm–tangerine scented, even! That’s amazing. It’s these seemingly unimportant details that pull us together, bond us as overworked educators who absolutely love what we do.
My Friday was no walk in the park. And my woes are not those of teachers, nor are they for public airing. I get it. I remain separate. But when it comes to kid-talk, a gross discovery in the computer lab or aspirations to travel with National Geographic, I am in. And we are one.
So I recommend a local cafe with a good wine list and Lagunitas on tap for you and yours. Social time is so valuable. It knits us closer together, makes our differences seem small and creates common ground without the pressure and constraints of the work environment. Our staff room is lively, but you should see us at Aqus!!!