Everyday at work for almost two years now I have invited other teachers into my room to eat lunch. It started out quite by accident. I saw a teacher who was sad and needed a moment. She was crying so I asked her what was wrong, and told her to come sit in my room where it was quiet. I went and got her lunch from the break area at our school and then asked her to tell me what was wrong if she felt like it. A few days went by, and I saw more stressed out new teachers. They were working through our tiny amount of time at lunch, and looking more stressed than they should. I started telling them to come eat lunch with me. We established rules after a while and said no talking about work during lunch. We need to talk about anything except work.
Everyone needs a break from stress, and I was happy to provide some comic relief. My group started growing and I got a few “regulars”. I had as many as 8 teachers eating lunch with me one afternoon. The topics varied, and kept us laughing the entire time. Our lunchtime flew by. The stories we share are funny, but it is more about being together and knowing that we are not alone in our thoughts. I haven’t always felt like cheering people up this year. Sometimes they had to lift me up when I needed it. Through it all, I hope they have realized that they always have a safe place to talk and a shoulder to lean on. I know I feel blessed to have them in my life.
“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” ~Hugh Downs