If you are a student in my classroom, you know that every so often, I will yell out, “Has anyone seen my tea?” My students are used to seeing me carry my Venti sized Starbucks cup around the classroom as I work. And they become very skilled at finding it for me when I seem to have placed it on a bookshelf, a table or the floor next to my stool. They know that my mornings begin at Starbucks.
|Can you find my Starbucks cup?|
There are lots of things I love about living in Dublin, Ohio. One of them is that, in my opinion, we have the best Starbucks in the world. I find a Starbucks in every city I visit and I have yet to find one that compares to the downtown Dublin Starbucks. It is the place I stop on my way into school every morning. The Starbucks is in the middle of town and there is no drive through. No matter the weather, everyone goes in to get their morning caffeine. This 5-minute stop on my way to school, has become a favorite way to start my days and my students come to learn this about me pretty quickly.
Many mornings I walk into Starbucks to find my Venti Awake Hot Tea already ready before I even order at the counter. The cup has been marked with my name—the staff often notices when I enter. And every so often a little drawing decorates my cup. A fun treat at random times. A staff member may ask questions about the school year. I might ask one of the girls behind the counter how her new baby is doing. They know me from our quick morning conversations and we’ve come to share quick stories every morning.
Everyone is on a first name basis at "my" Starbucks. I realized after weeks of thinking that the Starbucks employees loved me most, that everyone gets the same treatment in the morning. Everyone gets the one-one-one personal hello that I do. I call it my “3-minute Cheers experience”.
Last winter, a man in front of me, in town for a business meeting said, “When you get up there, will they already know what you want?” He had been watching for a few minutes and picked up the feel of this particular Starbucks. He was amazed at the relationships that the crew had with nearly every person who ordered a drink. It doesn’t take long for visitors to realize that this place has a lot of positive energy. They can't help but smile as they watch.
This is the perfect morning stop for me on the way to school. My family and friends continue to be amazed that I will get out of the car in thunderstorms and ice in order to get my Starbucks fix. But my morning stop is about more than the tea. Every day, my day starts off in a positive way. And, I am reminded of how important those first minutes of the morning are and of how important a positive transition to each day can be. I’ve learned that a quick hello and acknowledgement can set my day off right.
I carry my Starbucks cup around all morning. I love hot tea but my Starbucks cup has come to be a reminder of my morning and the life lessons I've learned from my morning stops into Starbucks over the past 5 years. My Starbucks cup reminds me how you can really get to know someone in just a minute or two each day and that those conversations add up. It reminds me that those first few minutes in the morning matter. They set the stage for the day. Taking 30 seconds out to really say hello to each child who walks into the classroom—before the busy-ness of the day takes over, can set the tone for the day. It is easy to get caught up in “getting ready for the day” instead of really focusing on each child as they walk through the doorway.
In a Facebook post last week, my brilliant friend Jen Ochoa reminded me of a Maya Angelou quote I heard years ago, "You must remember, the very first thing a child sees, the first thing they notice when they see you, is you seeing them. They look carefully to see what your face looks like as you lay eyes upon their face. When you see a child, no matter what, remember to fix your face."
My daily visits to Starbucks are about so much more than caffeine:-)