Tuesday, June 10, 2014

One Word-My Parting Gift

Friday, May 30th was my last day  as a school counselor at Sixes Elementary, my job of twenty years.  It is unbelievable and I'll not sure the full impact has hit me yet. The month of May was full of last moments... last bus duty, last report to turn in, last test to give.  Many of these have been moments I won't miss.  There are other lasts that I will miss a lot.  Last kindergarten guidance lesson.  Last kindergarten graduation program to watch.  Last writing club parents' night.  Last staff luncheon to attend.

At the staff luncheon, there are always moments of great celebration such as when the teacher of the year is announced and moments of sadness as when during the recession, so many teachers were let go.   Some leavings are bittersweet. Teachers who get married and move away.  Teachers who have babies and opt to stay home. This year was no different.  We had new teachers joining us and teachers leaving.

My Parting Gift

Since both my principal and I were retiring, we were each given a parting gift.  It was probably one of the best most meaningful gifts I've ever been given.  Just looking at the picture of it in this blog brings tears to my eyes. Here is picture of it:

Here's the background to the gift...

I've written before about choosing one word to guide you through the year.  I've done it in guidance lessons and as part of activities for the writing club.  This year we decided to do this as a faculty and after a week to think about it, each teacher presented his or her word for the year at a faculty meeting.  We took pictures of the teachers as a grade level with their one word and put it on the website.  It was fascinating to see.  There was Focus, Determination, Listening and Invest among many others.  My word for 2014 is Adventure.  We each wrote or printed the word and hung it outside our office or classroom.  It was a wonderful reminder each time we visited another classroom, what that teachers' focus was for the year.

My One Word for 2014

For the One Word booklet, each teacher was asked to share one word that they felt described me.  The results were fascinating and touching.  Here's the breakdown:

Calm: Appeared six times

Inspirational or Motivational appeared four times

Creative or Innovative appeared four times

Compassionate appeared three times

There were lots of others that appeared only once... but I loved them!

Here's a couple:

This is truly a gift that I will treasure forever.  I've already shared the experience with many others and now with you, my readers.

Lessons Learned

I thought about ending this blog with the last sentence, but I'm a habitual educator and I can't stop without commenting on lessons learned.  
  • It's powerful and empowering to know how you are perceived by others.
  • There are parts of us that we aren't even aware of, that others see.
  • The love and care that we have for each other is so often lost in daily transactions-what if we did something like this regularly with co-workers, friends, family?
What is one word that others would use to describe you?  What if you asked?


  1. I would hope people would say JOYFUL about me ... I absolutely LOVE this gift idea. WoW ... what thoughtfulness ... and to have their names in the collection is a nice touch ... thank you for blessing me today and for all of those hearts you've left forever changed in your 20 years of influence and love.


  2. What a great gift, Lynne! I know you'll treasure it. I think my word would adventurous. Or crazy. Sometimes the two are synonymous. ;)