Colleagues and Friends - Important Teaching Relationships

I read a post by another teacher recently about how she didn't like the other teachers she worked with at all. After I read that I felt so sad for her and anyone in that situation. You don't have to be friends with everyone you work with but you can always find something positive in them.

There will naturally be some teachers you connect with more than others and that is okay. I began thinking about my relationship with my community. I think our school has a special charm. Everyone is wonderful and supportive. It is truly like a family. And there are always family members you get along with better than others.

Here is my question to you………Do you have colleagues you also call friend? Do you have someone in your school you can geek out with? Someone you feel comfortable saying "that lesson was a flop" or "hey, I think the homework you are sending is a bit too hard" or "....too easy?" I have been fortunate to have 4 of these people in my career. Each one different but each one a colleague and a friend.

Colleague friend #1: This person was the teacher I first began teaching with. She had been there 7 years and I remember thinking "Wow! What will it be like when I have taught 7 years?" Well, 7 years came and went and we are still together. Together as friends and together again as colleagues for almost 20 years! We knew we were destined when for one another when we each spilled iced tea on ourselves at our first lunch together. I taught 2 of her three children in Kindergarten and first grade. We constantly geeked out about research and how we were going to implement it in our rooms. LOVE HER FOREVER and have dinner scheduled with her next week. We will "beat some dead horses" as we like to say and bounce ideas off each other.

Colleague friend #2: This gal was my two girls's Kindergarten teacher. Super smart and super fun. She's been in my life for 10 years and I love her more each day. She still teaches Kindergarten and we try to attend conferences together when possible. Next summer we hope to make it to the I Teach K/1st conference in Las Vegas. When we share our thoughts about teaching it isn't unheard of for one of us to disagree or play devil's advocate with the other.

Colleague friend #3: She taught both my girls in fourth grade. I also taught with her in fourth grade. We can vent to each other and what is said between our four walls or over a Martini stays there. She loves her students and wants what is best for them. She is also great at helping them "grow up" in fourth grade while always keeping in mind that they are still 9 years old. We are lucky in our family because she will be moving to fifth grade next year and my youngest will have her for social studies which is her passion!

Colleague friend #4: We taught first grade together for 2 years but have know each other for about 7 years. My youngest had her as her first grade teacher and as her Girl Scout leader. I taught her youngest last year. Like the 3 ladies above, she is super smart and fantastic at her craft. (See how I surround myself with super smarties!) We both share a passion for researching best practices and working to implement these practices in our classroom. We aren't fans of field trips (is anyone really a fan of field trips? If you are more power to you!) and we love to geek out together especially about reading and writing! I am sad because she has moved to teach in an independent school in Fort Worth and let me tell you that school is L-U-C-K-Y! Although I won't see her everyday, we will definitely keep in touch and I'll get to see her when I go see my fam in Cowtown!

I hope you have at least one special person at work that that you can geek out with, vent to, bounce ideas off, and most importantly laugh that big make-your-belly-hurt laugh with at least 3 times a week!

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