Welcome Back!

Posted by Stephanie Lawless on 8/17/2018 7:00:00 AM

Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful summer. One thing I always enjoy about coming back to work is hearing about everyone's vacation adventures.  We did a lot of nothing over the summer, which I consider a good thing. Sleeping in, having strawberry pancakes, picking flowers, chasing fireflies, and roasting marshmallows.  We had no shortage of bike rides, car races, muddy boys and pretty much everything you hope from a summer vacation. To celebrate our Nation's birthday we went to downtown Franklin and watched fireworks and fireflies in the park.  I remember sitting there thinking this was about as good as it could get. Families gathered together for a collective celebration. A warm evening full of color, smiles, laughs, ohhhs and ahhs.

A couple of days later my husband and I spent a few nights in Nashville TN. We went to the rooftop patio of the hotel where we stayed and looked in amazement at the scene around us. Skyscrapers looked like treetops fighting for sunlight.  Through the storm clouds sunbeams snuck through causing wet windows to sparkle and shine. I felt an overwhelming sense of being small amongst all of these giants.

Right before I went back to work we took an impromptu camping trip to Covert Michigan. We piled our camping gear and boys into the car and took off.  I immediately fell in love with our little campground snuggled in the trees. After a short hike we were standing on a beach looking at Lake Michigan for the first time. And once again I was struck by the beauty. I grew up living by the ocean, and my heart missed the waves. I was so happy to see that Lake Michigan had waves lapping softly on the warm sand. We spent the day playing in the waves, building sandcastles and destroying sandcastles (boys!). Tired and sleepy we wrapped up our day by cooking hotdogs on the campfire and crawling into our tent.   Our sleepy boys giggled and played with glow sticks in the tent until all we heard was silence. Laying there listening to them breath, feeling the warm sun still on my skin and the sand in my sleeping bag, I was blissfully happy.

Over a few weeks I had three completely different experiences.  Each one moved me and filled me with the same feeling of peace and satisfaction.  If you ask me what makes me happy, I can start a long list because there is not just one thing.  There are many paths I can take that all get me to the same end. Like they say, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” (sorry cat lovers…) In education we learn this pretty quickly. I love to see the variety in the classrooms and schools.  Each child is unique, and we never know what will reach them. Each teacher puts their personal touch on their space. They all get to the same end, students learn, teachers teach.

If you have not noticed yet we have a new behavior section in IIEP.  This form looks a LOT different than the old form, but it is still the same end.  We are still addressing lagging skills to create a plan that supports students and staff.   The old form was like standing on the beach and the new form is like standing on a skyscraper.  There is more to process, but it is still a beautiful thing. Over the next several months we will learn the new form together, but the process and the thinking is nothing new.  If you are overwhelmed, take a deep breath and let us know. We are here to help!


Stephanie Lawless, Assistant Director