Sally, one of my sweet teaching partners and friend, is taking off to travel with her hubby, Joe. I don’t mean simply for the summer, but she is saying adios to teaching. It’s a heart-wrenching change for me, but I’m so happy that she gets to make so many new memories with him.
God must have been smiling on me the day I was placed with her. Her previous partner of one year, Jane, took a job at Region 7 Service Center and my partner, Shay, was changing to a lead teacher position. I can’t say it was chance that we were paired together as a team because I don’t believe in fate.
God gave her to me as a gift when I needed lifted and blessed. John had just passed away the December before and we were partnered in May for the next school year. I know that God put her in my life when I needed to be pointed Northward. She’s lifted me when I felt low and helped me let go of trivial matters that hinder my growth as God’s child.
From the beginning we clicked. There was no awkward moments of classroom management or styles of teaching. It was as if we were made from the same mold. I do think her mold is a bit more perfect than mine. We’ve spent eight years together and I’m going to miss spending my work days with her.
Our first year, we giggled over our students making paper mache bugs, and sat out in our lawn chairs at recess while the kids had a fun day filling water balloons and then letting them fly in an epic water war. I loved those sweet May days when testing was over and playtime kicked in at the end of the year.
The next year, Cynthia was added to our partnership and we’ve simply grown together. Over the years we’ve shared students and life together. Conversations weave from work to our lives and families and back to students without a separation. We’ve giggled, cried, lifted each other, given each other space when needed, and hugged. I know their families and they know mine because we share our hearts.
I estimate that we’ve shared almost 5oo students between us during these eight years. I’m smiling thinking of those lock-ins that keep getting shorter as time passed. Those first few when we actually stayed overnight, slept on the floor, watched movies, and made breakfast. My favorite memories are watching them run around the building yelling at the top of their lungs, the infamous trashcan races, Nerf gun wars, and playing outside with flashlights.
She’ll be missed not only by Cynthia and myself, but by the staff. I know she’s touched more than my life. She’s leaving a hole throughout the Fourth Grade group.
What have I learned from Sally?
She’s taught me to appreciate good shoes. (LOL!) With her, I learned a bit of shoe fashion! I’ve gone from boyish shoes to heels and painted toe nails. Never will I buy cheap shoes over quality. Shopping for shoes with her is a joy because she’ll buy the shoes that I never would even think of purchasing. She loves color and heels!
Tactfulness and positivity are two important traits to bring to parent conferences. She always finds the right way to make a parent feel better about their child’s educational gaps and she looks for traits to love and appreciate in the student.
Diction is important. We should all learn to speak our consonants! It doesn’t hurt that she has that perfect diction. All her consonants are used and a ‘t’ pronunciation is never replaced with a ‘d’ sound. A ‘cabinet’ is a ‘cupboard’ and a ‘garage’ is a ‘gar-age.’ Boy… can she replace our Texas twang with odd sounding vowels! I love to get the kids to ask questions where she’ll have to use these words and she goes along like a champ. My favorite question from a student to her since she’s from Scotland is, “Where’d you learn to speak American?” It still makes me smile!
Making our students realize their worth is the most important part of teaching. I think what I’ll miss most about not teaching with her is her heart towards her students. She makes them feel special and spreads her love of writing over them like fairy dust. I’ve seen her correct their manners in loving ways and they remember the etiquette, but she also encourages them and instills a love of writing when at the beginning of the year, they didn’t think of themselves as authors.
A small dose of guilt can improve behavior. She does know how to tilt on the guilt just enough that intrinsically the students will rethink their behavior. Sometimes, it doesn’t even require discipline for them to correct their conduct because they regret their actions. That is a talent that she excels in and I wish I knew how to do better.
Tidiness and organization make a teacher’s life easier. She is neat to a fault and loves her organization. If I could be one-fourth as organized as her than my Math group wouldn’t be afraid to trust me with their originals. : )
To let the trivial things not consume me because in the scheme of this life they don’t matter. Giving them to God is the best action there is. Working with people small hurtful incidents happen. It’s how I react that makes a difference in the outcome. I try to remember to lift it up and let it go.
Most importantly, she has been an example of growing in her relationship with God. I’ve seen her trust in Him more and follow where He leads. Her prayer journal and daily devotions have inspired me in my growth with my savior. Thanks Sally for being my Christian sister.
I think what I’ll miss most is simply spending eight hours a day with Sally, five days a week. She offers encouragement and adds humor to my life. She greets me with a smile and a cheery ‘Good morning’ and often a hug and there is not a better way to start the day. I love standing in the doorway smiling and chatting with one another as we begin our school day and being able to pop over to her room for a quick conversation or a silly wise crack!
Thankfully, when you’re not traveling we will gather for breakfast or coffee and definitely shopping or nails. I’ll pop over to your house for a cup of tea, words of wisdom, belly laughs, and conversation both serious and frivolous.
I love you my beautifully, honest friend. I’m so incredibly happy to be not only a part of your life at work, but also in our life outside of work. You’ve shown me a sister’s love and a friend’s devotion. I’m truly glad that you stepped into my life those wonderful eight years past and am looking forward to whatever the future holds as we continue our friendship.
With love, Becky
If you know and love Sally like I do, add a comment of some of your favorite quotes of hers or a funny story.