In the three years prior to my break from teaching, I was assigned the responsibility of a student teacher each semester. At first, I was honored. Many wanted student teachers and were not chosen. Working with the motivated and bright student teachers was beneficial and fun for my students as for me. Unfortunately, I found the converse also to be true. My struggle to guide the sloth like and dim (verging on Mr. McGoo) novice, in my final semester, helped to send me over the edge, racing to submit my notice of leave. In the year prior to my burnout, I received notice that I would serve as Master Teacher AGAIN. I apprehensively set out to retrieve my anticipated new apprentice from the office. Bitterly joking I inquired, "Is it here yet?". Since she was late by a few days, I had been enjoying a laugh with the office staff each morning as I broadcast inquiry of her arrival. On day 3, she appeared in jeans and flip flops. My judgment for the tardiness and attire coupled with her hearing me ask "Is it hear yet?" Well, lets just say, it was not love at first sight. She now, as a seasoned teacher in a top performing school, 5 years later, claims to prosper from emulating like teaching routines, strategies, and environment. I like to boast that she has also since, written several childrens books and married a wonderfully sweet man whom she met while under my supervision. Things may have easily gone a different way for her, right?
Even after requesting too many times that she PLEASE reserve her fashionable jeans and flip flops for bars and the beach, her charms could not be denied. My dear friend and godmother to our boys as well as King Simon. Who would have predicted the gift of our friendship? She resides in my thoughts now sitting amidst her family, bravely. Both slowly and quickly, her father slipping away, comfortably wrapped in the blanket of his loving family, whom he inspired and protected. His abundant life of far too little time, shall be punctuated by a peaceful and heartwarming departure.
Thank you John, for making my friend , who is loving and forgiving, and the most benevolent person I know.
Brain Cancer....you scary dreadful monster.