One week from today I will say goodbye to Educare of Seattle. I am moving into a new position at Puget Sound ESD. I am excited and grateful for the new opportunity that awaits me.
But I am going to miss this school deeply.
Working at Educare has taught me so much.
Working with the teachers has taught me about commitment, strength and love.
I have known teachers who have been devastated by losing their husbands, but have come back to their classrooms comitted to providing a loving and enriching experience for the children in their care.
I have known teachers who have felt great discouragement, weighed down by the emotional toll of the work, but have found the strength to return day after day with the belief that things would get better. And things did get better.
I have witnessed teachers whose love for the work radiated from them. Whose very way of being with the children and families made it seem less like work and more like a calling. Their love for the children could be heard in the way they sang and read stories at circle time. It could be seen in the delight in their eyes as children came through the classroom door. It could be felt in the way they hugged a child and told them everything was going to be okay.
Working with families has taught me about resilience and devotion.
I have known families who have escaped countries ravaged by war, who have been homeless, who have been marginalized and unjustly treated because of the color of their skin or their country of origin. And these moms and dads, uncles and aunts, grandparents, foster parents, and adoptive parents have contended with these challenges with grace and hard work. They have looked unfair systems squarely in the eye and said “Throw what you will at me but I am going to do whatever it takes for my child to succeed.”
Working with the children has taught me…well, what hasn’t it taught me? Children are remarkable human beings. I am in awe of their capacity to:
love unconditionally, forgive, create, imagine, speak their minds, tell hilarious jokes, challenge, learn, make a best friend in two minutes flat, exude ineffable joy, and live out Dr. King’s Dream by judging each other not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I am who I am because of the time I have spent in the presence of young children. I am not their example, they are mine.
It is hard to say goodbye to a school, and to people who have made such an indelible impact on my life. But I’m not sad. I’m honored and thrilled to have worked at a place that has provided me so many blessings and that has taught me so much.
And I will carry what I have learned at Educare of Seattle with me for the rest of my life.