Thursday, November 22, 2018

I'm The Luckiest Man Alive

I am thankful, first of all, for my family: my wife, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, in laws, and all those other people connected to me through marriage and blood who love and support me. I'm nothing without them.

I'm thankful too for the families of Woodland Park. Sometimes it doesn't seem fair that I get paid to be surrounded by so much love. These people bless me simply by allowing me to stand with them at the center of it day after day.

I'm thankful they support me in teaching the way I do, that they enter with me each day into the ongoing experiment of education, shoulder to shoulder, my bosses, my colleagues, my assistants, and my friends. I'm thankful for what we've built together and for what we continue to build together. We're a small school, now serving some 65 kids, but as a cooperative, that number must be multiplied by at least 3, when you consider the parents, the grandparents, the aunts and uncles, and the other special grown-ups who week in and week out make our school run the way it does. Without all of us together it's not Woodland Park; each one absolutely essential. And the best part is that all of us are doing it for the exact same reason: love.

I often say that this is how all schools should be, and when people explain to me why that's impossible, I leave my thoughts unspoken: Still, this is still how all schools should be.

What an incredible blessing it is for me to work in a place like this. It's not only, or even mostly, the children or the playing or whatever notoriety I've gained through this blog that makes me commute to Fremont each morning in the dark and rain. It's the love. I know when I open those doors each morning, no matter how much I've had to strain and scramble to be ready, no matter what dark cloud plagues me, that I'm letting in the sun and the air, love embodied, the children, the mamas, the papas, the omas and the opas, everyone of them arriving with their hearts full. And when they pack themselves up at the end of the day, I'm thankful that they are so full to overflowing that there's plenty left behind to warm me as I stand alone in the silence for a moment to reflect on how I'm the luckiest man alive.

I've just published a book! If you are interested in ordering Teacher Tom's First Book, click here. Thank you!

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