AmeriCorps members at The Learning Community in Central Falls get together every week for a check-in, a time when we share successes and challenges and learn together as a supportive team. We bring with us a small glass jar with a purple ribbon around its neck, a vessel appropriately decorated for its contents. The jar contains “warm fuzzies,” short thoughts and kind words of appreciation, thanks, and love captured by Learning Community AmeriCorps members during the previous week. At our weekly gatherings, we pass the jar around and take turns reading a “warm fuzzy” aloud, sharing in the gratitude we feel toward each other. This is one of the highlights of our weekly meetings for me, and I’d like to share a few of my own recent ideas on gratitude in the context of our work at The Learning Community.
Dear Learning Community AmeriCorps members,
Thank you for being a great group of people to work with, hang out with, and with whom I can share experiences this year. Your camaraderie and friendship have made my transition to this job a lot easier than it would otherwise have been; for that I am grateful. I look forward to continuing to get to know each of you as the individuals you are throughout the year.
…Students, the real teachers here. :) Yes, you’re teaching me how to be a teacher and how to be a leader in my personal and professional endeavors. And I thought I was supposed to be helping you learn that…turns out we’re learning together. Thank you for making me laugh, challenging me, and reminding me to never give up.
Thank you for this opportunity to learn and work for a year, to pour energy and ideas into something I think is important. I feel very lucky to participate in this school environment, and it is helping me learn what I want to do in the future. Thank you for all the support you give members to grow as citizens, thinkers, and professionals.
Dear Learning Community,
It is not every day that an individual works for a school that puts as much an emphasis on continued professional learning as you do. I appreciate the ongoing opportunities you offer AmeriCorps members to learn educational strategies and methods and professional skills, strengthen interpersonal connections, and increase our involvement in the community.