3 Things I learned this weekend from my Dad-
My Dad retired from teaching this year, after 29 years. Over the weekend his colleagues threw him a party. About 50 people showed up to share stories and honor him. I have to be honest and say that I am still digesting the impact that this has had on me. I thought I would share 3 things I have learned from spending an evening with passionate educators as they honored one of their own.
1. Laughter- If you don't have a sense of humor, you won't last long as a teacher. My Dad is really good at laughing at himself and finding the humor in stressful situations. Apparently it's not just ME that loves this about him. Story after story, I realized that laughter in the halls of a school and in the classroom is priceless.
2. Passion- Every single teacher and administrator sitting around that beautiful backyard party shared a passion for teaching children. They were quirky, fun and creative. Many teachers were there who completed their student teaching under my Dad's care, and all were quick to praise his ability to help them adjust to the pressures and expectations associated with the profession. And everyone there considered Marc Shelby a friend. He was a skilled and respected teacher because he was passionate about kids and learning. Passion. I don't think you can be a good teacher without it.
3. Cold beer- Hang with me here. One of the things I really sensed as I watched my Dad and this group of extraordinary people was the sense of community. Two precious women that were my Dad's team teachers from the early days shared about their "Friday Meetings" that included pizza and cold beer after a tough week of teaching. These weekly trips to Angelo's pizza forged friendships and cameraderie that has spanned an entire career of teaching. My Dad connects with people. It can be over cold beer, a phone call, a project or the Bible. He truly loves people. It wasn't just teachers who showed up, it was classified staff as well. His family sat and heard people say things about Mr. Shelby that rang true in his personal life as well as his professional life. In other words, my Dad is the same person he is at work, that he is at home. Exactly the same. Every single person there respected his faith and had probably been prayed for and with over the years. He is the same guy all the time. How many of us can say that?
My Dad says it's time to "Reinvent" himself. I hope he only reinvents how he spends his days, not how he lives them.