Hello my friends! writes @happycampergirl as she presents the next #kinderblog14 challenge. For the 4th week of this challenge, you once again have 2 choices:
1.) Write about a relationship (either personal or professional) that challenges you, or is maybe difficult for you. What makes it hard? What are the ways that it makes you grow? Is it worth the difficult-ness? Why do you think that relationship came into your life? What are you learning from it?
2.) Write a personals ad for the perfect classroom assistant or partner teacher for YOU. What are the skills and qualities that balance out your strengths and weaknesses? What are the areas of knowledge that are less strong for you, and that would be important in a partner-in-crime for you? What are some of your quirks that someone else might need to be patient with?
So another puzzler, choices are good. Right? So I decided to answer both options with a short vignette on each.
Option 1) RELATIONSHIPS: Part of a growing process in one’s life. Some people (not talking about relatives) come into your life and stay forever. You feel fulfilled and hold onto them dearly. You may have daily contact or not. But you know they’re there for you, as you are for them. Some stay with you for lengthy periods of time and then circumstances change: interests, needs, focus and you each move on to another road to travel. One such relationship for me was forged through the workplace. We (and our spouses) just clicked with so many shared interests. Even when she left our school, our relationship kept going strong. A world of travel and exploration was opened up to me. Our interests melded as we traveled around the globe, checking off our “bucket list.” We liked antiquing, seeing plays and musicals and good food! We were a comfortable four-some and it added so much to my life. Three of us were educators (she was also an analyst with a private practice after she left our school) and many conversations centered about our teaching philosophies and the students we taught. It was a magical period that helped me grow both personally and professionally. But circumstances and focuses change. I became emotionally vested in my “job” as a grandmother: a role that I dreamed of for a long time. More time was spent away from this relationship, not nurturing it as it needed and deserved. My friends also spent more time away from the city and week ends were spent apart (often time we had had wonderful week ends together). There is no laying blame, but neither of us put extra energy in maintaining this relationship. So things changed. No repercussions, but sometimes on my part, sadness and a feeling of loss.
Option 2) PERSONALS: This in my school is a fait accompli. We all team teach. We have 30 children in a class with two Credentialed Lead Teachers. In kindergarten we also have a full time assistant. I have been with my teaching partner since 1991 or so. From the get go we were excited to work together. This is what we both wanted and asked our administration if it were possible. I had been teaching in the ECs and wanted a change and he had a constant stream of partners that just did not mesh. So the time was ripe! We were as different as you could imagine. He and his partner had different backgrounds from mine, but they were very connected to their families and that already laid the groundwork for our shared interests, as I am very close to my family. And our common goal was and has always been an educationally sound curriculum that encompasses the social-emotional along side the academic development of the students. Over the years we became like an old married couple, finishing each other’s sentences and thoughts. He has generously “put up” with my passions found on Twitter and by participating, he has also encouraged me to “go for it”, when an idea percolates and takes hold! Do we have quirks!! I multitask, he can procrastinate. I am not a perfectionist and can easily let things go. When he has an idea in his “mind’s eye”, it takes hold and he puts all of his energy into it. He is comfortable with computers and I have relied on his computer skills to help me navigate technology in the beginning. I learn best by first watching, then trying as someone sits by me and then allowing time for practicing and practicing! He is undeniably patient with me. I push the “tech” stuff for our kinders; to explore apps, to compare and collaborate with each other in this form of learning. We both value exploration, inquiry and wonder. Geniushour, @Wonderopolis and @clippodcast with her audit/learning trail has now been ingrained in our curriculum. I wonder what he thinks I might have in store for this coming year? I won’t tell, if you don’t. (But I want to focus more on our class Twitter and Skype accounts.) I look forward to the start of a new year. We will work together to set up our room and compliment each other in so many ways. We also work closely with the kindergarten team next door. We are truly vested in what we do and do it out of joy, passion and compassion. But for now, I still have time for summer!!
And I continue to learn about people: me and others.