My favorite day of the week when I was teaching was Friday. This was not because the weekend was around the corner (although that was fun), it was because of Friday Club. Our school was very unique and one of the many things that made us special was our weekly Friday Clubs. Each Friday morning, students would head to their “Club” of the session and stay there for 90 minutes while the staff participated in development and planning. These clubs were led by paraprofessionals, parents and community volunteers and the themes ranged from sports to jewelry making. It was a wonderful opportunity for students to spend time doing things that they loved and a great chance for the staff to get some much needed time to work on school initiatives and planning.
I loved the community aspect of Friday Club. It was a wonderful chance for professional development, problem solving with other teachers and planning all while eating a nice warm breakfast. The thing I loved most about Friday Club was the way I felt new and refreshed when I returned to my classroom. It was such a special time, right there built into our week, an absolute gift for all of us involved.
After leaving the world of education to raise a family, I didn’t think I would ever experience anything like Friday Club again. That was until I attended my first MOPS meeting last Friday. For those of you who aren’t familiar with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), it is an International organization for mothers. Moms drop off their children in to a safe childcare setting and then spend two hours meeting with other moms around a given topic. There are speakers, video presentations, round table discussions and breakfast!
Last week was my first meeting and I was immediately blown away by how friendly everyone is. Everyone went out of their way to say “Hello” to me and introduce themselves. I have never felt so welcome in a large circle of women before. The video presentation that we viewed was excellent and my discussion group was really open and honest. The whole morning was a great experience and I returned to fetch my children feeling a bit energized and refreshed. It helped that both children were smiling and had a great time in their classes.
I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed as of late and was searching for some things to let go of. MOPS was on the chopping block but I decided to check it out first and I am so glad I did. It is only twice a month and I think it will be so worth the time and energy to get there. MOPS is a great built it way for me to put on my O2 mask first and take some time to breathe, reflect and be ME.