"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Three Very Special Teacher Friends

To say that this year has been a strange year would be an understatement. I have experienced much sorrow, but in doing so it has caused me to be so thankful for my many blessings. You lose people here on Earth, you miss them dearly, and you realize how much people touch your lives even in the smallest of ways.

Throughout this year of taking care of my mom and dealing with my stepdad's cancer and subsequent death, I have also planned a wedding. Times of sorrow and sweetness. It has been a year of feeling like I was on some kind of ride where there were highs and lows.

I lost three very special teacher friends this year. As teachers, we share a very special bond. I guess all professions do, but for us, we know that we get each other through the good and the bad. We know we have to smile for the kids and come to school even when we are going through rough times. We just hold each other up. Often times I wondered if we were really what you would call "friends" since in many cases, we only see each other at work, but I think we are. We spend a huge portion of time together and pull each other along with encouragement when you have the rough kids that weigh you down.

When I took the science coach job a little over 2 and a half years ago, I left behind a superb class and one of the best group of teachers that I had ever worked with. We got along so well and enjoyed our laughs in the hallway when we dropped the students off for PE. We were one of those groups that rather than whine, we kind of just laughed off the insanities and encouraged each other. We met for lunch at the end of that year to send one off to retirement land, well really two (she hadn't announced it yet). We had a great lunch together and little did we know that we would lose two of them in two short years.

My friend Jackie, the healthiest person and most physically fit person I have ever known, was struck with a brain tumor. I knew Jackie long before I worked with her because we have boys the same age who did Little League together. Jackie always had a smile and a positive attitude. She came in every morning with such pep and zest for life in general. She loved teaching and I was blessed to know her. I loved how she just always laughed about everything. She loved her family and we had that in common. Family first. I learned at her funeral that she often gave china cups as gifts. She had all boys, so she remembered to use china to drink her coffee in. She had to keep the girly, beautiful things around her. I have been using my china a lot more recently to have that morning coffee and remembering my sweet friend Jackie.

I will take time to notice the pretty things.

My dear Martha was also at that lunch table planning to retire in a few short days. She would have taught forever, but she knew something wasn't quite right. Martha was already sick. She would never really enjoy retirement, but I think that was ok with Martha. Teaching was her life. I knew who Martha was even before I started teaching at Shalimar. She had a teacher website long before most ever thought of them. I had stalked it and thought what a great teacher she must be. When I met her, there was no doubt. Amazing teacher. I miss Martha already.

And then, there is dear Hope. I truly don't think there has ever been a nicer person than Hope. She was a Title 1 teacher at the school I worked at when my children were born. She had two little ones then. I watched her raise them making sure they never missed church. She was a great mother and teacher. Inclusion started way back then, and I must say I wasn't too keen on it. One of the Title 1 teachers made you feel so nervous, but not Hope. I loved having her in my room. She was so genuinely kind and sincere that I never minded her presence in my room.  I will truly miss seeing Hope, but I see her in her daughter. She left a legacy there for sure.

I just felt a strong need to share how much these ladies had touched me. Teaching is a busy, fast paced job, but our teacher friends can make such a difference in our lives.

Life is very fleeting. I feel a very strong need to live life to the fullest everyday. I have spent a lot of time stressing over work and not nearly enough time living. I plan to rectify that.

I will do my best to stop and smell the roses.


This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. ---Psalms 118:24

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