I’m going to start this out with a truth I hold to be self-evident: one cannot make it in this field without a teacher BFF. Some of us have families (of origin or of our own) to support us; some don’t. Some of us have “regular” friends; some don’t. Some of us have spiritual communities; some don’t. Some of us have a dog to snuggle with; some don’t. Some have a life partner; some don’t. Y’all I mean it – a Teacher BFF is er’thang. Let me introduce you to mine – Frau Lauren Arkin.
While chillin together this week with the CI Guy in Chi-town for some summer PD time, we discussed our very important and perfect friendship. I think there are probably some universal factors of teachers’ BFFship, but here are just a FEW things that have been vital to ours:
Ok, but really – over brews at Revolution Brewpub this week after our CI thing with Profe Schwab (IPAs were a beer first, OK?), we tried to narrow it down to one-ish thing: Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we eye-roll, sometimes we cuss, sometimes we rage, sometimes we cry, sometimes we drink, sometimes we retreat and hide… all of our emotionality comes down to one thing – we have strong feelings and reactions because we have one big thing in common – the intense passion and feeling of meaning and importance in what we do: connect our students to their larger human families via giving them access to new language, thoughts, ideas, emotions, cultures, and people.
Frau and I come from different backgrounds and started teaching at different times (You can learn all about yours truly from my Who am I? post)- but in my 4th year teaching, I started at a new school along with Frau in her first year teaching (she turned 22 the day before new teacher orientation! 😧) We spent three glorious years as coworkers.
We are both excited for next year for different reasons. I am LOOOOVVVINNNNGGG my 100% independence and 100% supportive administration. I LOVE my students and my freedom. I can’t wait to do the things I’ve been building up in my soul for the past 7 years and really take ownership and make it happen. Frau is looking forward to taking what she’s learned from her 4 years and learning how to incorporate what is best practice with her current framework, while continuing to appreciate the support of having another Frau/mentor for the first time.
While we are in pretty much opposite teaching situations, we have so many of the same beliefs about life and teaching that we decided it was important to hold a Frau/Skinner curriculum camp this summer. We have so much in our brains after both being in collaborative vs. independent situations, experiencing #authres, CI, textbooks, IPAs, blah blah blah… it was time to put together what we know + what we want + what we believe + what our current curriculum is and make it happen in the best way for US and OUR students. We hope to present together at a 2019 conference, but need to narrow our focus and calm down a little. As you can tell by my rambling writing style, I’m not sure how to narrow something down into one thing. It all just seems so interconnected! (I mean – it IS interconnected… but the mental organization is what I lack!)