Tuesday, May 31, 2011

End of an Era...

This is it. Today will be the last time Libby and I will be sharing a classroom. And, believe it or not, we are both sad about it. Not that we don't look forward to having a room to ourselves (and 25 students at a time), we do. But we will miss out mornings together.

I love my roommate. We share one of the smaller rooms in our high school, but we make it work.  She calls me mom, tells me I am old but fun, and shares my liberal idealism.  She makes me feel good about myself. She is also the same age as my oldest son. I am proud to say that this pseudo-daughter is also my friend.

I first met Libby when I began co-coaching speech with her. We got along great and found that we shared many of the same ideas about teaching and kids. The next year I moved to the high school  and Libby went half time because she was pregnant with her first child. Since I was still teaching a couple of junior high classes in the morning and Libby was only teaching in the morning, it made sense for us to share a room. It has been one of the best teaching/learning experiences of my career--and a lot of fun in the process!

Mornings in our classroom can be hectic. Generally, one of us has a student or two coming in--this year it was mostly her. She went out of her way to tutor several students in Spanish.  Plus, we have others who just drop in. But we do manage to find time to talk about anything and everything.

And that is what we will miss. The morning chats over bagels or muffins and coffee or juice.  Some mornings we laugh til we cry over happenings at home or in our classes. Other mornings we cry til we laugh over the same things.

Libby has taught me many things in our years sharing a room. My desk is usually clean now at the end of the day. It is so much nicer to start the day with a clean desk. I only have one file cabinet now. When I left the junior high, I had two! And lots and lots of sample textbooks that I just couldn't get rid of. I guess a little OCD is a good thing!

Libby does such a great job connecting with kids and I think I am better at it now after watching her.  She always seems to have just the right words for them. I love how she always introduces me to students who come to our room. It's nice for me because I meet students I wouldn't necessarily know and it treats students with the respect they deserve as young adults.

She writes thank-you notes for everything. Personal notes, that lets the person know she really appreciates what they did for her.  She is the best advocate for kids I know. She loves to teach--anything.

There are those oldies amongst us who think they know everything there is to know about teaching and life. They poo-poo ideas that come out of the mouths of anyone younger than they. Not me. I am in awe of this young woman. She keeps me on my toes, and I learn from her every day. She truly is one of the finest teachers I have the pleasure to work with.



12 comments:

  1. Sad day... the end of an era.

    I love that Libby writes personal notes for everything. She's my kind of person!

    SAS

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  2. How lucky you've been to have such a great roommate. I hope Libby gets to read this.

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  3. It's a lovely set of words for your roommate! It seems that this is the hardest goodbye today. I hope you'll be close together next year.

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  4. What a lovely post for your roommate. I love the items she has helped you with. She seems like a great person.

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  5. You both have been really lucky. I think that the laugh-cry and cry-laugh mornings tell it all. This post is better than a recommendation. Sweet appreciation.
    Terje

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  6. As everyone else has said - this was such a lucky break for both of you. You enriched each others' lives and that is wonderful.

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  7. It was so great that you had a kindred spirit to share with. Everyone needs someone who helps them be their best.

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  8. Sharing a room and teaching space can be difficult but so rich when it works - sounds like this was your experience. Lucky you, Lucky Libby.

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  9. I, too, have been honored to share a room with you. You have taught me so much more than I can express. Thank you. Thank you so much.

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  10. What a wonderful way to share the joys of teaching and life. I can see how this is a sad end of an era. Hopefully this will lead to a new learning experience and maybe a new friend.

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  11. What a great tribute. You both were lucky to have each other. I can imagine that this move is bittersweet. Thank you for sharing and good luck with keeping your desk clean.

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  12. When I read your writing, I feel like we are just talking. I enjoy your direct honest style. :)

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