I wrote these paragraphs last year when I posted the group pictures I took as we prepared to start our 2017 – 2018 school year. I am reposting these words again here because they express so well how I feel about this uniquely original working environment I am privileged to be a part of. We have a new and savvy leader, Jodi Cohen, who is bringing in a wave of new ideas and sharing innovative ways to think about the work we do. We love Jodi!
The lighting was awful, the camera was set on high grain from my last shoot, and several photogs snapped the shutter. Who cares? look at this group! Aren’t they amazing? I am always so affected by the size of this crowd. This year, my daughter Desiree joined the staff of AGB, along with a fresh new group of newly hired teachers. Welcome everyone! You are in for quite an adventure!!!
It’s a preschool! It’s a freaking preschool! How many times have I heard this from, frustrated parents, disgruntled co-workers, and outsiders who could never understand the dynamics of this place! it is a community. It is several communities within one larger group. There is one cohesive element that connects everyone here. It is a mutual desire to provide for ourselves, and for our loved ones a better quality of life. It is a place where many come, and those lucky enough to become grounded, stay for a while. In that “while”, lives take place.
Here we are brought together, by choice, by chance, or by fate. Together we celebrate and mourn. We witness struggles and personal challenges and we applaud personal achievements. Ours, and those belonging to the people into whose lives we have been placed, and who in turn sojourn through our own lives. We are the workers. We are the ones on whose shoulders things larger than us are built. Within the architecture of the larger structure is where you find each one of us. Individuals living in a world of our own making, who have come together to do this work. It is not easy.
I have often asked myself, “why do you do it?” Although it would be so admirable of me to say I do it for the greater good of someone, or some Nobel ideal, or as I hear teachers say, “I do it for the children,” I don’t do it for any of those reasons. I do it for myself. A very personal and selfish reason. I find the work I do fulfills me. And I find the people I work with enjoyable. And I find the children irresistible.
I have been enriched by my time working in this place in ways I have probably forgotten. Each day with its unique challenges has provided me lessons no institution of higher learning could equal. I’ve witnessed humanity here from one social-economic spectrum to its extreme opposite. I’ve observed that the wealthy do not escape loss, sorrow, or pain. And, the poor do not go without love, joy, and happiness. Higher education does not always provide good workers, and the best workers are not always the ones with the highest education. The prettiest amongst us will eventually age and not always well. And the least attractive amongst us, often age quite well. Not everyone gets what they want, in the way they expect it, but sometimes that is a good thing because it allows life to surprise us. My work here has always surprised me.
Cheers to another year, and to us, we are the workers, and we do a great work! Thank you!