I was asked this morning by our campus principal to lead the prayer as our faculty assembled back together for a New Year. This is a small community and a very tight knit campus. Most of us have worked together for at least 20 years if not more. We know each other inside and out. It is a faculty of about 60 and most of us are friends in some capacity off campus too. Some of us go to church together. Some of us have raised our children together. I started working there when I was 25 years old! I had babies then that I dropped at daycare before work and went through a pregnancy while working full time. There were 8 of us pregnant that same year and we are still there now as grandmothers together! The principal was blamed for alot of things that year! HA! We have been through some pretty horrendous events together over the years, we collegues! We have cried at funerals, laughed ( and cried ) at weddings. We have been through divorces, court trials, family crisises, deaths of friends and family members, horrible accidents, fires, financial disasters, & famines! We have quarreled with each other and "kissed" and made up. We don't always agree! I am with them more than I am my own family on an hour to hour basis! I have "trained" and "broken in" 8 principals. Not an easy task either, let me tell you. I have watched so many children come and go and now their own children are in the schools and I have enjoyed reacquainting myself with them. Several of our younger teachers are alumni of our primary school! Our age ranges vary for sure. Some of us are thinking of ending our careers and leaving the place to the younger - more energetic ones. In several years there will be about 8 or 9 of us that will retire together! If not sooner. That all being said, these women ( & 2 men ) know me very well. They know the good about me, they know the bad about me. They have seen me sob and seen me laugh. I have very good friends there and some that I tolerate. They know the hurts I've endured and the hurts I've inflicted. I think they know deep down that I try to be a good person. I try to do what's right even though sometimes, ashamedly, I get caught up in the world and the chaos of working with a variety of personalities. As I have gotton older, I am much more verbal and say what I mean. Not always good.
I have not ever really worked for a principal that professed openly to being a Christian. One that tried to use God and prayer in the school setting, in decisions and the way she handles parents, children and staff. An administrator that encouraged us to treat others as we like to be treated. She actually has helped in my decision to continue to work for a few more years. I was about ready to throw in the "rag". I have worked under administrations that were ruthless, let me tell you. I take things very personally. I enjoy my job and have alot of fun. More than I should sometimes but I am very responsible and proud of the work ethic and the reputation that I have as a dedicated employee that knows the school laws, the curriculum, the TEKS, the TAKS and the tests! I know the individual families. I know almost every child's phone number by memory! All 500 or so of them. It is a "Rain Man" trait. But, I have to say that if the office staff isn't happy, "ain't nobody happy". There is nothing more ruthless than a mean woman principal. I would much rather work for a man!
So, this morning when approached to pray openly I did not hesitate. I was not nervous but I did precede my prayer with a statement that I saw met friendly glances around the room. I told them that I was honored to pray with them. That they all knew me well and knew that I did not always feel worthy to pray. But, as a commandment I did. A commandment that I pray to a Father to guide me and forgive me. To lead me and help me be a better person. We don't have to be perfect to pray. I am NOT perfect but I know someone WHO IS. It is to Him I prayed this morning. I know that God heard it and I pray that the children, parents and fellow friends of my school will be blessed in 2007.