Friday, March 22, 2013

Rainbows in the Clouds

It was so wonderful to see each grade level dressed up in their specified colors for our Rainbow School Spirit Day this past Wednesday, the last day of student attendance before Spring Break. The bright, cheery colors throughout the school reminded us that blooming flowers and warm weather will soon be here, despite the lingering cold temperatures and snow.

Being immersed in such a beautiful rainbow of colors among our students and staff reminded me of an inspirational keynote speech I heard from world-renowned author and educator, Maya Angelou, last weekend at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) National Conference in Chicago. At 85 years old, her speech was energetic and inspiring. Through her vivid storytelling, Maya referred to the caring educators who are a constant source of strength and hope to others, and see unlimited potential in each individual, as "rainbows in the clouds". Coming from a childhood of poverty, abuse and broken family, Maya expressed deep gratitude to the "rainbows" who believed in her, supported and encouraged her.  She went on to proudly recite a poem she was asked to write in honor of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, A Brave and Startling Truth, which provides a beautiful vision for world peace. 

To build on Maya's metaphor, if we as educators, parents and community members, are "rainbows in the clouds", the children we serve are definitely the "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow. Seeing them experience the excitement and wonder of learning is the ultimate treasure. They fill us with hope and optimism for a bright future and a better world.

It has been a pleasure celebrating the growth and progress of your children during Parent-Teacher Conferences these past two days. May your families delight in the moments with your "treasures" during Spring Break next week! I look forward to seeing you back at school on April 2nd!

Maya Angelou on the stage at ASCD Conference, Chicago (3/17/13, photo by the author)

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