I had the honor of writing for a pretty big audience last week. According to Len and Daniel, founders of the the3six5 project, everyone has a story to tell. Here’s my story from Thursday, February 10th.
The coffee pot in the teachers’ lounge has barely begun its work for the day as children emerge from their cars, quickly grabbing books and backpacks. The littlest ones slide out of the backseat, their legs too short to reach the well-worn brick below. As the doors close and the cars pull away, the wide-eyed young children begin their day.
Instead of pausing to enjoy the crisp winter air, they fix their eyes on the walkway ahead and run through the double-doors en route to their classrooms. They run with excitement to learn new things. They run with anticipation because a day of discovery awaits. They run with purpose to greet their teachers standing in the doorway. They run because they are happy.
As I watch the blur of backpacks fly by me, I think about my arrival at school this morning: I frantically pulled into my parking spot, quickly threw my computer bag over my shoulder, and, at the last second, grabbed my grandeextrahotskinnyvanillalatte from the cupholder. I glanced at my wrist to check the time and hurried into the building, already late for my first appointment.
As the day progresses, I think about the children who run to class. They delight in the unknown; I worry when things are out of my control. They see change as exhilarating; I often see change as threatening. They ask constant questions; I try to finish my day having formulated more answers than questions. And the funny thing is, like them, I love school. My days are filled with opportunities to learn new things. My days are filled with unexpected conversations and discoveries. I have a purpose. And I am happy.
They run. I hurry. Their joy is evident, and I wonder…is mine? There’s one thing I learned on this, the 108th day of school and that is to hurry less because it is only then that I can begin to delight in the unknown, learn to embrace change, and start asking the right questions.
About the author: Megan Howard spends her professional life on the east coast and her vacation life in California, putting her waking hours in perfect balance. As an educator, she learns life lessons from 5-year-olds on a regular basis. Follow her on Twitter at @mmhoward.