If you read my Facebook page then you know that today is the gathering for all 10,000+ Fresno Unified School District employees to kick off the 2015-2016 school year. The district runs buses for all of the employees from the various high schools so no one has to drive their car to the university where this big event takes place. Each high school and its feeder schools has a specially designed t-shirt in the high school’s colors. The areas sit together and cheer together. It’s a big rah-rah-rah convention of school employees. There are some motivational speakers and some student testimonials. All to get the staff inspired to give it their best for the next 10 months. Students AND colleagues are counting on you. I am thankful I don’t have to attend this big pep rally as I don’t do well in such crowds of cheering people. I was actually invited to this year’s hoopla by the teachers at the elementary school where I am chaplain.
Knowing that the teachers would be back to work on Monday this week, I put on my chaplain shirt, picked up pastries for the office staff, and drove out to the school. I picked up the school calendar, the new bell schedule, and met with the principal and the four first grade teachers. We were all pleased that we would be working together again this year. Both the principal and the teachers mentioned an inservice they were attending the next day on restorative justice. This discipline strategy has been incorporated at the high school levels and would now be implemented in 23 of the elementary schools. They all thought I should attend so I did.
It was very informative and I enjoyed getting to spend the day with the teachers of the school where I will again be the chaplain. Many of the upper grade teachers had never met me or knew much about what I did. I went to lunch with three of the teachers and we got to know one another better. They invited me to join them at today’s convocation. NO. That would be where I would draw the line. I left my teaching career in that big school district and had no intentions of going to this event again.
Five years ago, when I first retired, I had plans to move to San Francisco and get a marketing job with a non-profit. I wanted to be a big-city girl doing good work with good people for the good of the community. Although we found a place to live and had the best time for 15 months, no one wanted to hire me. I think that all they saw was a retired school teacher, not someone with social media smarts and marketing savvy. So, I came back to Fresno.
Here I am now, doing good work with good people for the good of the community, yet within the same school district I was so anxious to flee five years ago. God has a sense of humor as this is not something I would have ever planned to do. I don’t get paid, but my teacher’s pension allows me the ability to do the work and live pretty well. I am grateful that our house and cars are paid for. I have learned to not make plans but rather let God do the planning. Five years from now? Who knows.
Our granddaughter started first grade today.
In five years, she will be starting sixth grade. I just want to be around to see it.