It's nice to be home (in Illinois) again and it's nice to have two places that are home. Tonight my retired teacher friend, Fran had an Italian themed party to honor our visit. We did, of course, get another round of happy jests that we have certainly picked the coldest time in many years to return from Hawaii.
I looked around at my wonderful friends and colleagues and saw a community of teachers that I taught with and loved. There was Gerri (Behavior Disorder) who I often rode to school with, Joan and Deanna(1st grade) who I taught with, Fran (3rd grade) who threw the incredible party, Elaine (Music), Huong (ESL), Jos (Social Worker), Jan (2nd grade), Sue (4th grade), Priscilla (5th grade), Judy (Librarian), Elaine and Wendy (Kindergarten), Ari (3rd). Everyone was full of stories and we happily caught up with each other's lives. Every time I turned there was another loving, smiling face. Someone laughed to say there were only three people in our group who were actually still teaching. Everyone else was enjoying retirement.
The party was exquisite. The beautiful decorations everywhere made me wish I'd brought my camera. Fran has always been the most impeccable hostess. There were lovely appetisers and then salads and lasagnas and an assortment of desserts from brownies, tiramisu, fruit tarts to candies. This is very different from the parties in Hawaii which are more informal usually and require much less work. I know that Fran and the other teachers who are part of our little teachers group put a lot of effort into this. I couldn't quite take it in that they'd done this for us.
But I'm getting away from what I was also trying to say. It amazed me to look around and see all the teachers who were part of our teaching community that functioned together to create a beautiful learning environment for our students. We were lucky. Our district was well-funded. We had psychologists, speech and language teachers, a Learning Disabilities teacher, a social worker, music, art and drama teachers, a full time librarian, an ESL teacher (until they moved the program away), Physical Education teacher, and I'm sure I must have missed something. Everybody cared about each student. We really had a great school and we loved and served children of every income level and ethnicity.
With this worsening economy, I hope President Obama will remember the children and do what he can so that all children can have a school to go to like ours. Although there are problems to solve now, these children are our future.