This morning I had coffee with a friend, a former teacher, and mentor to all three of my boys in the subject of mathematics. He appreciates the difference in all three of my sons, the way their abilities manifested, and their chosen paths. During our coffee clutches we attempt to solve the problems of the world – in education, with leaders, and in our own pursuits. Over the years, his son also became my second son’s best friend and I appreciate the talents of this young man, as well.
It is important to have friends who are of similar age and experience. They are there to help us relate to the stages in life that we encounter at similar times. For example, my husband retired last year and so did my friend, a few months later. Both are busy individuals with many interests. I am close to being able to pursue only the interests I want, for I will be resigning from my current job a month from today. I hesitate to say I am retiring because I know I will pursue more teaching and some publishing opportunities. Another close friend, this gentleman’s wife, is also considering retirement soon. Chronologically, I am the youngest of the four of us so I might have some more time to work. I am also the only one of the four who took a long hiatus from a professional life while we raised our children. But, we are all in the same boat, so to speak, because we are at the same life stage.
While we enjoyed coffee, we realized that a group of retired teachers, all of whom we both knew, were breakfasting at a table in the rear of the restaurant. Most of the teachers knew not only one but all three of my boys. All of them knew my friend, who held a district-wide position for many years. It was a step back in time.
Seeing this group of teachers, all from our beloved Evergreen Elementary, was like going home. Three of the teachers came to visit our table. It was so nice to catch up with these educators that I had, and still have, the utmost respect for. They were role models for other teachers, our students, and parents, like myself. Some of them have become personal friends.
It took us back to a place when school was somewhat different – and not so long ago. One of our favorite teachers visited. She retired at the end of the year that my second son had her in fifth grade. She was one of the best influences on my boys that they’ve ever had. She is just a fabulous person and was a fabulous teacher that invested in ALL of her students. The two other people that visited were the former librarian and library aide. Both of these women now work at our public library and I love them dearly. My friend, the librarian, has been one of the greatest supports in my professional pursuits. She attended most of my garden club lessons at the school (Evergreen) where I developed the club and she served as the librarian. Those times are among my most precious memories. They are also rapidly becoming more and more distant. However, it was a time in my life that I was sure I had an impact on our youth. She would tell me I had a lasting impact. I can only hope so.
Seeing educators who have moved on to another phase of their life was rewarding. They all made a difference in the lives of their students and, I am sure, continue to make a difference in the lives of all they encounter. I am among those lucky ones who knew them, and still, do.
Today is Slice of Life Tuesday. This is a blog forum hosted by TwoWritingTeachers.org in which educators can share their experiences with others and receive feedback. Thank you to TwoWritingTeachers.org for their inspirational leadership in forming and hosting this group weekly!