Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Teacher Friends

This past year I finished my 11th year teaching little kiddos. So far it's been an amazing 11 years in the classroom and I honestly can't imagine ever doing anything else with my life. I've always told people that teaching is very much like the have to be called to do it. From the time I was a teenager, I've known that teaching is what I wanted my life's ministry to be. I wasn't one of those kids who went to college and vacillated over what their major was going to be. I knew from day one and if I had to do it all over again I would choose the exact same profession-crappy pay and all :) Teaching is not something that is easy or something you fall back on if your other career doesn't pan out. It's not something you choose because of the holiday breaks or the summer break. It's something you've got to love deep down because it's by far one of the hardest and most rewarding things I've ever done. 

Every year I walk into a classroom with 20-24 little children in it from all different walks of life. Very few of them still live with both parents. Most come from broken homes. Some come from homes where drugs and alcohol are abused. Some come from homes where the word "love" is not used regularly or shown often. Some come hungry. Some come sick. Some come seeking attention in any way they can find it. Most just need you to hug them, love them, and assure them that for the next 7 hours they're safe and they're protected. Teaching is more than just showing the kids how to read, add, and subtract. Teaching requires quite a number of "hats" that I have to slip on throughout the day depending on the child and the situation. I'm a mother, a grandmother, a nurse, a doctor, a coach, a psychologist, a friend, and so much more. 

The past nine years of my teaching career have been spent with some incredible co-workers. It's hard when you're the new girl in town and you walk into a school where relationships and friendships have already been formed, but nine years ago Torri, Sarah, and Judy all took me in under their wing and we haven't been apart ever since. We've shared lots of laughter, lots of tears, and most importantly lots of love. We've been there for each other through the good times and the bad. The friendship we shared was something very special and unique and unfortunately, something I'm desperately going to miss next year. 

Judy, my teaching partner this past year, retired in May after almost 30 years of being in the classroom. I'm so happy for this wonderful lady! She is such a light and a joy to be around. She brought so much spunk and happiness to our group. I'm so happy that now she gets to do whatever she wants to do! She is the kind of person who would literally give you the shirt off her back, so I'm thrilled that she is going to be able to take care of just herself now :) 

Sarah, one of my best friends, is moving to a different school in the area. She wants to be with her boys and be near them. I completely understand this and I'm very excited for her next big adventure. She's moving from teaching 1st grade to teaching 4th grade. Big jump for her but she's going to rock it! She is the other half to my teaching brain though and we've been partners in crime for so long it's going to be weird starting a new school year without her. She and I are so alike in our teaching practices and it was always refreshing to be able to share my ideas and frustrations with her because she knew exactly what I was talking about. 

Torri is still going to be at my same school (YAY!), but she's moving to kindergarten this year (BOO!) More than likely this will be her last year to teach and then she'll retire as well. (Cue Celine Dion to sing "All By Myself") She'll be in a completely different building than me, so we'll probably just see each other in passing, but I'm glad I get to hold onto her for a little bit longer though :) She's so much fun and is one of the happiest people you'll ever meet. She and Judy have really been great mentors and friends for Sarah and me these past few years.

So... going into my 12th year of teaching, you might see why I'm a little nervous. I know God saw all these changes before they came to pass and I know that he has a perfect plan in mind. It's definitely going to be different starting a year without these girls by my side, but I know that we're all where God wants us to be and that's the most important thing of all. So, Torri, Sarah, and Judy, thank you for all the incredible, fun, wonderful, exciting, and fabulous memories. I feel blessed that I was able to teach with you girls for so long and I'm so excited for what the future holds for all of us! Love you all very, very much!!

P.S. I'm ready for our first girl's night out so we can get together again just like old times! 

Just for fun I thought I'd post some of the pictures (in random order) of all the memories we've made together :)

I love you girls so very much! 

1 comment:

Beth said...

Love this! You summed up what teaching means so well. And I totally feel your pain in losing your teaching buddies. I went through that last year, and it was tough for sure!

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