Earlier this week I wrote about My Kiddos. As a teacher, they are of course the biggest part of our jobs. They take a ton of mental, physical, and emotional energy to serve. But no matter how much of ourselves we spend on them and how tired we are at the end of the day, they are the reason we keep coming back every day and every fall.
The students—even the difficult ones—are what we live for.
It’s pretty much everything else about our jobs that is utterly, completely, horrifically exhausting and life-draining. Meetings. Committees. Paperwork. More paperwork. More meetings. State mandates. Federal mandates. New curriculum. Supplementing the new curriculum because it is essentially crap-in-a-binder. Recess duty. Lunch duty. Bus duty. All-day-meetings (aka professional development.) Conferences. TBTs. RtI. PTO. CBAs. PLCs. LPDC. IPDPs. IEPs. RIMPs. SLOs. CEUs. Professional Growth Plans. Benchmarking. Data Analysis. Returning phone calls. Returning emails. Writing notes. Documenting phone calls and emails and notes. Copying. Laminating. Filing. Book orders. Newsletters. More meetings. And still. More. Meetings.
For all these reasons and many, many more, it is obvious to me that all teachers need a Work BFF to make their days as pleasant as possible. Even this article outlines 8 reasons we all need a Teacher Bestie. I am totally convinced.
That’s why I am so lucky to have Emily. She’s my Teacher BFF. All the way.
I work in the largest K-3 building in my state (last I checked) so there are a LOT of teachers in my building. There are 11 just in 2nd grade alone (!!!) There are many wonderful people who work in our building. So out of all of them, how do I know that Emily is my Teacher BFF?
When I walk past her in the hallway, we only need to exchange glances to understand exactly how each other’s day is going.
When I need help with something, she’s the one I go to. I could run it by a million people, but if Emily hasn’t looked it over and given her opinion, it’s not 100% to me.
When there’s something I need to vent about, I know I can go to her and it will stay right there. There’s no worry if something is going to come back around like a game of telephone, with one shred of the truth wrapped up in 17 new rumors.
When I have to attend [yet another] meeting without her, it is
completely impossible difficult to get through. When she’s not at school for a whole day for some reason, it’s downright unbearable. Nobody to share all the silly and random things with and have complete appreciation.
This is my ninth year teaching. When I first started, Emily was assigned to me as my mentor for our district’s entry-year program. I can’t even begin to imagine how much work I must have caused her. She helped teach me how to really plan, make assessments, and create content to go along with our curriculum. She helped me navigate all the behind-the-scenes stuff that you have to know to be a good teacher. Everything I do well, it’s because she either showed me how to do it or we came up with ideas together.
The funny thing about having someone you love being around at work. You start to realize you want to be around them more than just a few passing moments in the hallway.
So every once in awhile when our schedules allowed, we would extend our day. We’d hit up a restaurant for an early dinner/late lunch or a coffee. Then we could just hang out, talk about work and life and whatever. It soon became apparent we had more in common than just things related to the classroom.
Getting to know her has been awesome. She’s hard-working. A think-ahead-er. Funny. Smart. Endearing. Humble.
She’s gorgeous (we tell her to freakin’ stop, but she just goes on being gorgeous all the time. It’s really getting annoying, Em. Please.) She has this high-pitched squealy kind of voice that only comes out when she’s either super (super) excited or when she’s basically using it to say What the heck are you talking about!? It’s adorable and uniquely her. Plus you’ll never lose her at a crowded party. She sends me the BEST EVER memes to make me laugh, usually about work craziness. They get me through the week.
Between our occasional dinner dates, hangouts, and constant texting, we’ve had many important conversations about work, family, God, and wine. Not necessarily in that order. I’m thinking we could both wear this t-shirt pretty accurately.
She’s a busy momma. She has a blended family that includes a hubs, three boys, and a little feisty girl. I got to have her son Jonas in my class last year, and I love him to pieces. He’s brilliant like his mom. Creative. Ornery. All Boy. Pretty sure he’s My People too.
Several years back, Emily lost her mom. Little did I know that nearly four years ago when I lost my mom, Emily would be teaching me things all over again. She’s one of the only people in my world who totally gets it when I talk about how much I miss my momma. How I think about calling her at least a few times a month, then remember I can’t. She’s the only one who has ever told me the truth when I ask if that will ever go away.
We’ve helped each other out through some tough life junk. Not just carrying the extra weight at school when one of us had something going on, but with the day-to-day encouragement to handle whatever we’ve got going on. My friends, that is a telltale sign of Your People.
She’s a picky eater who will barely touch a vegetable, and I’m 90% vegetarian. She’s port and bordeaux and I’m fruity moscato. She’s more reserved and I’m the loud one in the room. But these things are just details when it comes to who Your People are. Emily is not only my Teacher BFF, she’s My People for life.
She says that she feels that in the time we’ve known each other, I’ve had a huge influence on her life. What I hope she realizes is that I feel the same way. My work days wouldn’t be the same without her, and neither would my life.
You’re the very best of the best, Em! Here’s to the One Percent! I don’t know what I would do without you!