Title: “Gratitude, anyone?”
“Yeah, 20 minutes in, I was like, ‘snooze time.'” It was a fairly crowded downtown subway car, but the male voice seemed unnecessarily loud.
“She was trying to be funny, but she so wasn’t,” came another voice, a female’s. Wait a minute, are they talking about TC Reunion? It was late Saturday afternoon, and following an amazing day of learning at Teachers College, I was traveling downtown Manhattan to meet up with my family. Incredulous, I turned my full attention toward the small group of what I now guessed were educators huddled on the subway car.
“Finally after, like, half an hour, she got to the topic,” sneered the male voice. The others in the group contributed a mocking chuckle.
For those unfamiar with a TC Saturday Reunion, it is a gift that Lucy Calkins, Director of the world-renowned Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and all the staff developers, office staff, writing staff, and tech staff, give to educators. There is no cost for any teacher to attend. It is a free day professional development, with sessions led by world class keynote speakers and the finest minds in literacy, all in the spirit of supporting the international cause of literacy.
As I quietly sat and listened to the conversation devoted to cutting down a staff developer, a person by the way who had just donated her entire Saturday to play her part in bestowing an invaluable gift upon any teacher who showed up, I began to seethe a little. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck standing up a little bit. But I knew the next stop on the subway was mine, so I resolved to let it go for that moment. However, the audacity of some people! It was a disgrace, I thought.
It is my hope that in this blog post I am able to make clear not only my appreciation, but the collective gratitude for Lucy and all of the TC staff for the gift of Saturday’s Reunion. It truly was a golden bestowal upon the education community.
Perhaps the group on the subway that afternoon had some reason that would explain their abhorrent behavior, I don’t know. But I was reminded of the importance of gratitude, and recognizing how working to understand perspectives other than our own is such important work. For all of us.