“The most important thing in your life is your family. There are days you love them and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the family you make for yourself.” ~Carrie Bradshaw
I ended the month of June with grand plans for July. I was going to get my classroom ready for the start of a new school year, prepare for two weeks of upcoming summer school, and even write a classroom management series on my blog since I get so many questions about how we do things on my team. All that changed last Friday morning when I awoke to the news of the tragic loss of one of my school colleagues. I wasn’t sure whether to write this blog or not to be honest as the pain Judy’s sweet family is beyond my comprehension. However, writing has been my therapy over the last few years and I wanted to get some thoughts about my precious school family out. I am not always the best at telling people how much I appreciate them. I frequently get too wrapped up in the day to day stress of teaching 120 children and don’t stop enough to enjoy the 80+ people I have the honor of working with every day. The events of the last week have made me stop and reflect on how blessed I truly am.
My colleague Judy Stacy was the kind of person that I truly never heard anyone say a bad word about. I know everyone says that when they lose someone but I can honestly tell you that I am not sure that she ever said a mean word to anyone or about anyone. I don’t think there was a week she didn’t have her lesson plans turned in and ready to go or a day when she even missed her dreaded hall duty. The children she taught would tell you that she taught them to be better people and to be kind to each other. She was the kind of person who smiled every time she saw you in the hallway and stopped to ask how you were. When my own daughter was facing serious health issues she offered words of encouragement every time she saw me; I am not sure I ever told her how much that meant to me. She was the kind of person you wanted to sit with at yet another professional development day or meeting because she could always make you smile and giggle. Judy was the kind of person that radiated happiness and a love of life, a love of her family and a love of teaching. Judy was the kind of person you feel better for having known.
I was blessed with a wonderful family that I am thankful for every day however I have been just as blessed by being adopted into the Beaumont family as well. I have realized in the last few days just how special school families are. They are the family we spend 10 or more hours with most days in order to do the best we can for the children that sit in our rooms. They are the family we dress up in our ugliest holiday attire with to bring laughter and a little levity into the classroom. They are the family we giggle with to entertain ourselves with in meetings that go on a little too long. They are the family who celebrate with us when life blesses us and the family that gathers around us when tragedy strikes.
I have thought a lot in the last few days about how to honor Judy Stacy and have yet to come up with anything special enough to capture the beautiful person she was. I do know I will work to be more appreciative of the wonderful people I am surrounded with each day at Beaumont in her honor and hope you will do the same in your buildings as well. I hope you will offer a friendly smile and warm greeting to the stressed out teacher you pass in the hall. I hope you will take the time to stop and talk to your colleagues even when it’s five minutes before school starts and you still need to make copies. I hope you will make each other laugh and be kind even when you feel overworked and tired. I hope you will take the time to enjoy life both inside and outside of school with the wonderful family you have been blessed to make for yourself at school. I hope you will remember how special our profession and the people in it really are.
Thank you for being such a beautiful light Judy Stacy; your Beaumont Family loves you always.