Eight of us are gathered around a long table in the corner of the room. Excited chatter fills the air and settles around us like a warm blanket. There are two or three conversations taking place at one time. There’s laughter, questions, smiles, and more laughter.
Outside the snow continues to fall. Just a few minutes earlier, we trudged through three new inches of snow amidst complaints of how some of us chose the wrong shoes this morning. Some of us were complaining about how the salt stains were already starting to leave ugly impressions on our nice leather boots. One person had bravely chosen and worn ballerina flats without socks. Another of us had selected a pair of athletic shoes. None of which was the appropriate choice for a day like today…snowy, windy, and blustery cold.
None of that really mattered now because we were enjoying the moment, an early lunch with colleagues after a morning of professional development. We were not scarfing down food in our classrooms for a chance to get a few more things done. We were not eating among the familiar people and surroundings of the staff lounge.
We were enjoying a meal far away from thoughts of rubrics, checklists, and writing samples.
There was still school talk mixed in with a few other conversations. But today, in this place, at this time…it felt different. It felt warm…in spite of the snow.