The last few weeks have been rough. I'm a teacher and students have early Spring Fever. This is a common occurrence: students getting restless when the weather warms up. However, this coupled with seemingly non-ending encounters with thoughtless co-workers and extended family has had me diving head-first into a pool of negativity.
Our community has a Teacher of the Year award. I was not nominated this year -again. My dear friend and co-worker was - for the second year. She's 2 for 2; I'm 0 for 2. Though I was happy for her, I was livid I had been overlooked. Why not me? I'm thoughtful and thorough, I work hard, and I know my subject!
I complained to my husband and non-teacher friends about this. They all agreed I had been slighted. Then I heard you on the radio talking about your friend Karen whom had worked for the DMV and was honored as the Employee of the Year. Karen was in the final stages of cancer. While accepting her award, she said, "When you have a job, it's an honor to have that job, and you should do it to the best of your ability without resentment and without attitude. You should be grateful you have a job and understand the value of what you do to serve other people when you have that job."
I've been thinking about Karen's attitude and my own. I have not been grateful for my job lately. I've been angry I have been overlooked and underappreciated rather than thanking God I have the daily gift of influencing the life of a student.
I am grateful I was present to see the surprised expression when my friend and co-worker won the Teacher of the Year award tonight. She deserves it. She's been a better teacher this year. She's had bigger projects and special assignments. She's designed seasonal bulletin boards and locker pendants. She's planned extra activities - things I am not willing to do because it will detract from my family. My friend is a single lady who is using this season of life wisely. She knows a family will be her priority one day.
I am baking a celebratory cake to take to the teacher's lounge tomorrow. Thanks for sharing Karen's story. Her life will continue to influence more people than we will ever know.