Dear MaFLA Member,
Greetings from the MaFLA Board, who sends you our best wishes in this new calendar year. We all are part of multiple new beginnings: a new school year in September and a new calendar year in January to name a few. New beginnings remind us to set intentions for the future. With Omicron in the shadows around us, the return to school this week will likely be marked by chaos and flexibility; we send healing thoughts to those testing positive and resilience for those facing students this week. No matter what 2022 may hold for us, MaFLA is planning ahead!
As I begin my presidential year, I reflect on the theme I’ve set for the board: sustaining the pipeline. My hope is that the board can become more transparent for our members, that we can support our members into leadership roles on the board, that we can build community, and that we can harness the knowledge and skills of those moving off the board.
As part of this endeavor, I’d like to communicate with you each season to update you on what your board is up to and also remind you of the importance of the role you have. This month, I’d like to do that by highlighting Vilma Bibeau. Vilma joined the board in 2019. Last year, she stepped into a one-year position as Advocacy Chair and in 2022 she will be our Second VP, preparing to chair the 2023 MaFLA Conference! I’m choosing to highlight Vilma this month because she approaches her volunteer work with incredible care and warmth. She created videos, directions, and zoom meetings for folks volunteering with the conference last month and, in each one, she started in gratitude and by recognizing each individual and how important each person is. Sometimes in our daily interactions, we don’t take the time to see each of our colleagues because we are too busy grading and planning. Would you join me in challenging yourself to connect briefly with a colleague each day or week? Perhaps in ensuring those around you feel seen and heard, space will be created to breathe and the rhythm of checking in will start to settle into a daily routine. Perhaps, you will find that spending the time to connect is a way to recharge and refocus you on the work at hand. To check out who else is on our board, visit our website!
Please let me know how MaFLA can make you feel welcome, connected, seen, and heard.
Beckie Bray Rankin
President of MaFLA