A holiday that pays tributes to the American worker.
In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks. (http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day)
Can you imagine life without this labor movement? Young children in factories, unsafe working conditions, and long working days.
While reflecting about Labor Day today I had a new found realization.
My dad told me long ago, “Figure out what it is you love to do the most in the world. Figure out a way to make money doing it. Then, you’ll never feel like you work a day in your life.”
A labor of love.
Today, I’m paying thanks to the American worker – but more specifically the faculty at staff at Tucker’s school.
Tucker spent the first four years of his schooling in a different school and it was a wonderful school. He had amazing teachers and the ONLY thing that really bothered me about moving was leaving this district that had shown so much care and support to Tucker (and Tucker’s family).
So, I visited this new district and the building that he would be attending elementary. The Principal, Mrs. B. met me to show me around the building. She assured me there would be no better place for Tucker to attend 4th grade than this building. Why? The 4th grade Teacher, Mr. K, has a son on the spectrum.
She was right. Mr. K. was AMAZING. He understood Tucker on a level that very few people could. He was creative and kind. He was energetic and understanding. He did everything within his power to help Tucker assimilate to his new school while teaching him coping skills and expanding his cognitive abilities. Mr. K. and I still have a special relationship and I often go to him when I’m ‘stuck’ in trying to help teachers help Tucker.
His Special Education teacher, Mrs. O, was remarkable. She helped get him caught up to his peers (there was a slight difference in outcomes for this new school district). She made him comfortable and was always advocating for what was best for Tucker. She was warm and welcoming to me.
When Tucker made the move to 5th grade I was full of anxiety. A new building . New people who may or may not ‘work’ at getting him. My anxiety was short-lived as I met Mrs. A. who was outstanding. She had a background in working with children on the spectrum. Her love for him was magnificent. She was always looking for ways to reach him and help him cope. One of my favorite moments was when she said, “I finally figured it out. Tucker is Sheldon (from the Big Bang Theory). Now I watch the show as research to get inside his brain!”
We’ve had exceptional experiences 99% of the time in our beloved school district. From his teachers to his coaches, from bus drivers to secretaries – these people care on a level that exemplifies what it means to do what you love.
They are, in essence, working their labor of love and I am so thankful for their hard-work, dedication, and general awesomeness…not just for Tucker, but for all of the children in our community.
In the wise words of one of our most beloved teachers, Mr. Ruebel, “It’s a great day to be a Go-Hawk.”
Indeed it is. Indeed it is.