One of my favorite bloggers, Krissy Venosdale, said in her blog the following statement that really stuck with me the other day. She was blogging about "when your passion offends" and I felt like she was writing from my perspective:
I knew I could always count on my friend M to help calm me down and focus on what was really important. She was the first to say, "We work to live, we don't live to work," and would go to bat for me if someone was being hurtful about my enthusiasm in the classroom. She was my school "mama" and still is.
My friend S has the most positive and data-driven attitude of anyone I know. She is the person I joke I want to open a school with, because her attitude about kids (including her special education kids) is so positive. She believes the best of every student, and works harder than any teacher I know to make learning an engaging experience. She even makes kids a t-shirt to wear on their birthday!
My friend L always has a can-do attitude. She is constantly positive, reminding others why she cares about them. This past week, she called me just to give me an amazingly adorable chameleon tape dispenser that changes color. She told me she thought myself and my kids would love it. Those little reminders from her that she cared always brought a smile to my face.
My friend J was my shoulder. I could cry, laugh, anything in her office. She would always listen to me, no matter how busy she was. She has the kindest soul of anyone on the planet. She wants nothing but the best for her students and for her school. She was, and is, one of my closest friends who reminds me to always take the time to listen to others.
I could always sit with E and discuss concerns and questions. E would consistently try and make me see things from a different perspective. E taught me to not put so much pressure on myself and to let go once in a while. E also challenged me to learn and grow as an educator, and told me that the most important thing is always the kids. "If you focus on the kids, that's all that matters."
And finally, my friend A was with me from the beginning. She and I struggled through our first year together, learning where important things like the laminating machine were and more. she words hard and keeps to herself, and the amount of growth I saw in my students thanks to her was absolutely unbelievable. She was my rock, her room was a safe place, and she helped me survive during those overwhelming first few years.
There are many more people that helped me see the sunshine during my time in middle school, but these individuals really stand out in my mind. I'm so thankful to have them in my life still, even with switching to a new school. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.