February did have another thing of note, namely, in my role as Parent Teacher Fellowship Coordinator at KCA, I kind of head up planning and pulling off the Teacher/Staff Appreciation Banquet.
I should say here that KCA – Kiev Christian Academy – is a pretty cool place. Officially speaking, it’s “ an international K-12th grade school started in 1993 for the purpose of educating missionary children in Kiev, Ukraine.”
What I love about it, though, is captured in another statement from the website: “We are a unique community of missionary families, teachers and Ukrainian staff that work together not only to educate children, but also to care for their emotional, social, physical and spiritual development.”
It is a unique community, and as my neighbor is always pointing out to her friends when she, rather humorously sometimes, tries to describe something I’ve been involved in at the school, there are definite marks of a close, caring community. [She’s still impressed that we try to specifically value our teachers, but that’s a story for another time.]
We do really try to show our appreciation for this group of faculty and staff all through the year. Many are missionaries serving specifically at the school as their primary ministry. Others are involved in some other sort of ministry here in Kiev and give some of their time to KCA. Sometimes, we’ll have parent volunteers who come in for either a particular task, or for season, whether substituting or working in the library, or manning the front desk. We do have some Ukrainian staff and faculty for which this is a paid job, but they give just as much heart and energy to it as do those who are not being paid by the school.
But the banquet is designed to have a special time where we recognize our staff and teachers, pray over them, and just tell them thank you.
Some schools have teacher appreciation weeks. I haven’t really investigated them and done research; I figure it’s a good idea that’s probably been around a while.
Our week of appreciation came into being in my tenure as PTF coordinator when someone suggested after my first year of being responsible for the banquet, that instead of having a banquet, we could have a whole week of different things that would show our teachers and staff that we appreciate them. Seeing that it would involve the kids more – the banquet has always been a parent/teacher evening affair – it sounded like it would be great move.
Some people felt like they missed the banquet, because the week’s activities take place mainly at the school, and the banquet is usually off-site and with parents. So this year, we did both.
It was a really great week and I think we were able to involve a lot of people for a wonderful, wonderful celebration of the folks who work and serve at KCA. For a humorous moment from that week, I’ll send you a post I wrote and then didn’t publish, if you’ll let me know you want it. I’m still new to this blogging thing and want to make sure I don’t misstep in posting something that was certainly very funny to Mark and me, but which might be seen differently by someone else.