My job situation is unique - I understand. I work as a teacher/vice principal at a private Christian high school. The entire environment is one of trust, love, and friendship. Teachers, administration, and students are connected much more like family than other schools. I love that aspect. This weekend I've had a few reminders that this connection is what my job is all about.
While quickly stopping at the mall on Saturday, I passed by a perfume store (you know the ones hardly anyone enters) and continued on to my store of choice. On my way back past that perfume store, the store clerk, a former student, was standing outside waiting for me. She saw me pass by the first time and was awaiting my return to say hello. Obviously she could have ignored my presence, but she came out to greet me and we took a few moments to catch up.
Today I had the honor of attending a bridal shower of a former student who I now call a friend. She has gone off to college, graduated, and will soon be married. What a privilege to keep communication with former students who know I care. If we had not made the connection while she was in high school, I would miss out on watching her (and many others with whom I communicate) mature and move on to new phases of life.
As the 2012-2013 school year begins, I walk into it remembering that the most important element is the student body -- and I need to build connections with them. As I get to know them and love them, they will realize I care. Our job does not solely revolve around academics, but it must focus also on the relational aspect. What a privilege.