September 6 – my teacher mentor

44/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Of late, I have noticed that my gratitude posts have been honouring my friends who have a very serene nature as opposed to the chaotic melange that makes up me – the yin to my yang I suppose and that trend continues today. Although I taught two years in Vancouver at the start of my career, I consider my teaching career to have begun at Burnett (in Richmond BC). Life was a blur as I was hired the Friday before the start of school for a new job in a new school tasked with subjects I had never taught before and becoming a first-time father in only a couple of days and I was the only one in my subject area. To say that that first week was stressful doesn’t even begin to describe it (even the word understatement is an understatement) – I had to get to know all new people, new students, new curriculum, new responsibilities both personally and professionally. I really don’t know how I survived but I made it through. As the month continued, I was given a mentor to show me the ropes – a little late but effort appreciated school board 😉 I met Mark and I followed him around like a puppy dog and hung on each and every word. Most often, I had no clue what was being said as the amount of new information was overwhelming but like most newbies, I just nodded and pretended. I thought our mentor/mentee relationship would only be within the confines of the work environment but Mark arranged a couple of drinking venues, parties at his place and other social gatherings. As the year progressed, our friendship developed and I learned a great deal from and about Mark and received great advice from him. Our friendship continued over the years inside and outside of school and even onwards after he moved to Asia – Facebook keeps the connection alive! Although our lives have gone down different paths, we are still friends today and make every effort to catch up in person when he comes to visit Vancouver and the best part is that we are able to easily fall into our old routine, reminisce, talk about our new life changes and share laughs over beers! To my fellow 50 year old, you rock – so glad we are friends!

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