It took my breath away.
I saw the envelope in my box and, it being December and all, thought: Holiday card. How nice. How wrong.
Inside was a beautiful Thank You covered in so many messages from students that all I could do was be overwhelmed by gratitude. I’d had the chance to teach a little poetry lesson a couple of weeks ago and this was in response.
The explosion of colors and variety of handwriting, the little drawings, the creativity, this was a window into the world of the amazing students who fill ACMA. They are truly independent and creative spirits and this kindness was in keeping with the spirit of goodwill that I have come to realized helps to define our school.
Then I slowed down and started reading. My goodness.
And hidden amongst the student messages was a line from Rumi jotted out with a message from their teacher.
Everyone has been made for some particular work,
And the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
To every student, and particularly to that generous teacher who was willing to give me the keys to the car for a couple of marvelous days, I say thank you. I’ve long believed that there is nothing in the world like the give and take of conversation in a classroom. The energy teachers and students share when they are discussing ideas can’t be replicated, it is, like poetry, music, and art, magical. It is why we do what we do.
As a principal that’s an important reality for me to keep at the front of my mind as I do all I can to support the work going on in my school. Often the day to day reality of being an administrator is much more mundane than Rumi or Cavafy, but the motivation for what I do should always be that “particular work … put in my heart.”
That thank you card is proudly displayed on my bookshelf now, and the appreciation will live in my heart longer than this school is standing. Those students gave me a treasured gift, both during my time in the classroom and this afternoon when I opened an envelope filled with kindness and perspective.