Change is in the air

Change is in the air.

Conversations buzz around the new person coming in. What will she be like? Hard? Understanding? Domineering? Caring? They did not want too much too change. For ten years they had served the community adequately and they felt they had done a good job. But they had heard things through the grapevine.

“She introduced peer evaluation.”

“I heard that she is a top-down sort of manager.”

“Surely someone cannot be that bad if she organises staff socials?”

‘They say that she increases staff efficiency.”

The day had arrived for the changeover. The staff gathered in the conference room and were surprised when a woman their age was introduced to them as their new leader. They had expected someone younger and career-driven, dressed in a suit carrying a briefcase. Instead before them stood a woman dressed in bright colours wearing a long, silk scarf around her neck. She opened her arms and smiled.

“Thank you for the welcome. I look forward to working here to make a difference. But let’s get started. We have a community to serve.”

Are you wary of change in the workplace?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: change)

My Work Day Begins

I approach the large double doors and open them, stamping my feet to remove the snow clinging to my boots. As I enter the corridor and move towards my room I take off my hat and gloves, grateful to be out of the cold and bracing morning air. I stand in front of the cream-coloured door, rummaging in my bag to search for my keys. Ah, found them! Unlocking the entrance to my domain, I feel the warmth welcome me. Thankfully I shrug off my coat and sweater. I am not too enamoured of the clothing we wear mid-winter because, as my children say, “we feel like snowmen!”

I look down at my desk covered with papers to correct, photocopies for the week, and my daily plan. I zero in on what I have prepared for today, noting the daily message. Walking over to the white board, I pick up the black marker and begin: “Aujourd’hui c’est mercredi le ….”  I think of my assistant of the day who will read what I am currently writing: a six year old with wispy blonde hair and the enthusiasm of a child eager to please. I am hoping she will be able to read the words we have been learning this week: regarde, les yeux, la vue.

Once the morning message is up, I make sure the disc is in the CD player ready for when we sing our songs. Currently we are learning the vocabulary for body parts and I always savour the enjoyment I see on twenty faces as they sing the French version of “Head, shoulders, knees and toes”.  I look around the classroom decorated with posters detailing grade one vocabulary. The bright colours are a comfort to me, assuring me that this space is conducive to the journey of discovery my students are on. I check that all the activities needed today are ready: the necessary books, papers, and cards in the orange and red coloured boxes (red for “arrete, pas fini” and orange for completed tasks). Crayons, markers, scissors and glue sticks adorn the tables; all set neatly in their place and ready to be used.

The bell rings and a few minutes later the chatter, clatter and noise of children enter the building. Backpacks are hung on hooks, jackets unzipped, boots kicked off and snowpants pulled off. Red-cheeked children enter the room through the doorway I had opened half an hour ago.  “Bonjour Madame!”

“Bonjour les enfants.”

And so my day begins.

Where do you spend your day?

(This post was inspired by the folks at WordPress and the Weekly Writing Challenge.)