It was simple, but I was touched and left having been reminded of some important things
1. Schools are made up of more than teachers and students. And, some of the things that go on behind the scenes--in the library, on the playground, in the cafeteria--are just as important as what happens between teachers and students in a classroom.
2. Recognizing and celebrating good work is a powerful thing for communities. Something important happened when Carmen was recognized. I haven't quite figured out what it was, but something occurred when she was publicly recognized and then had a chance to vocalize how she felt about her work in her school. I think it was a way of our all being reminded of why we care about students and do the things we do. It might have been as important as any business item that was addressed later on in the "important" part of the meeting. I wish we could have had 20 minutes to hear some of Carmen's stories about working in her school and to hear from some of the students and parents who have benefitted from her work.
3. People who care about students can make a difference in schools, regardless of their job. I doubt that the job description for custodians, cooks, secretaries, etc. include much language about teaching or learning. But, I'd bet the farm that students at Farrer learn from Carmen and have a different experience because of their interactions with her.
I was glad I was there on Tuesday.