Debbie McFalone, Ph.D.
OT Coach and Board Member
In the wonderful book Keep Moving by the poet Maggie Smith, the author tells her story of resilience during a traumatic time in her life. At one point, Ms. Smith says this: Perhaps when we try hope on for size, it may not fit at first---It may hang on us several sizes too big. But if we keep wearing it, we will grow into it. I love that image!
So how about you? Does it seem difficult right now to actively choose hope, and to continually make a commitment to “keep wearing it”? You’re not alone if you feel that way….and Opportunity Thrive exists to support you, help you find new strength and to reclaim the joy in your life.
The OT board members see a deep need for our school people to feel supported, valued, strengthened, and understood. Executive Director Bekah Schipper has thoughtfully designed and instituted the Resilience Champion initiative in schools to build strong teams of teacher leaders. She frequently presents on topics related to educator wellbeing, and advocates strongly for school boards, superintendents and decision makers to respond within their systems to the needs of their people right now. Bekah’s work is truly making an impact across the state of Michigan!
In the last eighteen months, Bekah and her team have designed and implemented the Opportunity Thrive Educator Wellbeing Coaching program. Our coaching program matches teachers, leaders, and support personnel with skilled coaches who listen, support, and ask questions to help the educator find their balance again. It’s such important work!
What’s the outcome we hope to see in all this effort? It’s actually quite simple: We hope to foster schools filled with creative, compassionate, strong adults who are nurturing the wonder of learning in our young people. The 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving come alive in schools like that!
In this short video master class, Dr. Maya Angelou tells the story of an African American song she learned as a young girl, urging us all to Be A Rainbow In Somebody's Cloud. I think that’s such a beautiful picture of the Opportunity Thrive mission, and of the kind of schools we want to help build! We do want to be that rainbow source of light for others!
For those of you who are involved in this work, we’re so grateful! And for those of you who may feel a need right now for strength, it would be our honor to support you. Together, let’s “grow into hope” and create the vibrant schools our students deserve!