Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shining a Light

Normally I wouldn't advertise where I work on the internet but my school had a special event today that I would like to share with everyone. Please don't come to my school and stalk me (joking, sorta).

In 2012, Austin police officer Jaime D. Padron was shot and killed in the line of duty after responding to a call from a North Austin Wal-Mart. You can read about the incident and Officer Padron here

Officer Jaime D. Padron

In 2008, Austin voters approved a bond that would include a new elementary school in North Austin to alleviate overcrowding in neighboring schools. The district purchased a warehouse and converted it into what is now Jaime D. Padron Elementary, the district's largest and first adaptive reuse project. 

Today, our school held a formal dedication ceremony to honor Officer Padron. Padron's family, current members of the Austin Police Department, including Chief Art Acevedo, school and community officials, Padron Elementary staff and members of the community attended and spoke about Officer Padron. 

Our principal 

AISD Superintendent

Austin Police Chief

Jaime D. Padron's sister (who was his favorite sister, she exclaimed, then proceeded to tell us she knew this to be fact since she was his ONLY sister). :) 

Some of our students singing the school song

Padron's daughter cut the ribbon-this is the best picture I could get since everyone crowded around her

One of the things that stood out to me from all the speeches was his sister's comment about the school having so much light. You would think that a school re-purposed from a warehouse would be dark and gloomy. Think again. The architects kept this in mind when designing the school and thanks to them we have so much natural light flowing through our building from a TON of skylights and windows. Even the interior hallways feel open because the walls of the classrooms that form the hallways are all windows. She said all the light reminded her of a time when Jaime kept humming the song "This Little Light of Mine" all day. I get kind of emotional at things like this and I definitely teared up when I heard that story. 

Several people referred to Officer Padron as a true hero, which he absolutely is, along with all other public defenders who risk their lives for us on a daily basis. AISD Board of Trustees member Ann Teich stated that teachers are also true heroes. We don't necessarily risk our lives every day (although I'm sure you would agree with me when I say I'd put my life on the line ANY day if someone tried to harm my students), but we educate America's youth and try to prepare them for the best future they can possibly have. That's pretty heroic if you ask me.

This dedication helped remind me why I do what I do. I'll be honest with you, there are some days when I leave my classroom and feel like I accomplished nothing that day, or parents just keep wanting to tell me how to do my job, or I get overwhelmed with all the "extras" that go along with teaching. It makes me want to throw in the towel. I know I'm not alone in this. We all need reminders every now and then that what we do is IMPORTANT, we teachers are NEEDED, and we HAVE AN IMPACT on those little ones we see every day. 

The message at my church this morning was all about worrying and how we do too much of it. About how we aren't living by faith when we worry. That sermon combined with our school dedication knocked a little sense into me today. The only worrying I need to be doing is if I'm doing my best to let Him SHINE HIS LIGHT through me to my students. 

I'm glad I have so many skylights to remind me of this every day.

On a lighter note... :) Here's a couple more pictures from today's event!

Here's to a great week y'all!

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