I’ve been very lucky to have a great coworker from whom I’ve learned a great deal. We’ve had amazing conversations about teaching and learning. We’ve developed curriculum. Debated goals and processes. Shared links and articles. Random meetings in the hallway have lead to hour long conversations.

I owe much of what I do well to what he has taught me.

Last month I found out he’s leaving – pursuing the next step of his career. While I am very happy for him, the staff he will lead, and the students he will help, I was sad for me. I worried that there would be no one to push me to be better. I worried that the conversations wouldn’t continue.

While I will still miss him, I’ve gotten past my sadness (and fear). I’ve realized that the conversations can still happen – I just need to involve more people. I’ve realized that I may have to push myself a bit more. I’ve shared with him that I hope I can continue to learn from him in this new phase of his career. I may – or I may not. Things change. People move on.

I just read this post of Dan’s. I never ran into Dan in the hallway. We never worked together on curriculum design. I never observed a single class of his. Yet he was still a mentor.

I’ve learned a lot from you these past few years Dan. Thank you for sharing all that you did. Thank you for pushing my thinking. I hope I can continue to learn from you too.

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5 Responses to Mentors

  1. Kate Nowak says:

    I feel we all just need a big group hug. C’mere, you!

    Srsly, Jackie, you fill a mentor role for more people than just myself, too, I’m sure. Because of your influence I find myself asking more questions than answering, and suggesting that teachers “ask the kids.” I hope you’re not going anywhere soon.

  2. Jackie says:

    Kate I have been a little emotional lately, so this may have been a bit melodramatic. A bit.

    And thank you for the kind words. I’m not planing on going anywhere anytime soon.

  3. Jackie says:

    However, I am serious that I have learned a lot from each of these guys.

  4. Kate Nowak says:

    I was being a little silly, but meant that with all sincerity. šŸ™‚

  5. iTeach says:

    I somehow stumbled on this tonight. And smiled.
    The conversations have continued. And they have involved more people. I’m sure some have been lovely, and others certainly frustrating.
    But through it all you, dear Jackie, have become the mentor.

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