This week was homecoming week at SJA this week. I am so grateful to our administration, deans and teachers who tried to make this week as much like it has been in the past. We still have “spirit week” and got to dress up in different themes. We still did hallway decorations, even socially distanced in masks. While we can’t have a real dance, we are instead having a concert on our field. While this of course isn’t the same thing, I love that I work in a place where people are thinking outside the box to make things normal.
We had our pep assembly today socially distanced out on the field as well.
Nothing about this year is normal, but I’m so grateful my kids and my non biological big kids are in school.
A huge shout out to Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. James Academy. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to be an administrator in 2020 because I know how hard it is to be a teacher.
On a side note, I had a guest speaker in my class today. Her name is Kim Stanley. We have known each other for as she said “100 years”. We were teammates at KU, later roommates and life long friends. She is the mom of a two-time cancer survivor, her 8 year old, Callyn. She and her husband Mike decided when Callyn was diagnosed before her 3rd birthday that they weren’t going to be the people that sat back and did nothing. So instead they started a golf tournament, “Callyn’s Course for Hope,”in her honor, and in 4 years they have raised over $400,000.
So when I say this woman is a total bad ass, I mean what I say. The kids really seemed captivated by her presentation. A few take away’s on this Friday night when I’m really super tired…
She talked a lot about hope. Hope, she said, was in the little texts they got from family and friends telling them that someone was praying for them, in the meals dropped off, in the ways people reached out to help! Through all the darkness they experienced the hope was always there. I thought that was such an important message for young kids to hear. Life is hard sometimes, but their faith, prayer and the hope provided by the awesome people in their lives made it a little less hard.
She also told the kids that she put alarms on her phone throughout the day to remind her to stay on track. For example, in the middle of the day she reminds herself to keep hope because no one fights alone (which she pointed out was painted on the wall in my classroom, so it was really fitting that she was talking about that). At the end of the day before dinner she sets an alarm that tells her she made a difference today. I can’t tell you how much the kids, and myself, loved this idea. We all need little pushes in our day. This is totally something I am going to have to try!
My final take away…Kim told the kids that even though her sweet baby girl has had cancer twice that their family has experienced far more good than bad. She reminded them to surround themselves with people that build them up, rather than people who may tear them down and she told them to always have hope.
I am biased, because she is my friend and I love her, but I can’t imagine having someone come to talk to my high school class that had a child who was a cancer survivor that spoke with such amazing poise about the hardest thing she’s ever experienced. I was beyond impressed. My students were beyond impressed.
I think it’s safe to say my students learned a lot today. They learned that one person can make a tremendous difference and they learned that although they may have struggles in life, with hope, anything is possible.
As I head into the weekend I am thankful for my job. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my students. I am thankful for my friend who is so strong, so hard working and so positive. She is an inspiration to so many people, including me.