September 7 – my co-worker, my friend

45/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. After finishing my teaching stint at UBC in the Faculty of Education working with new teachers, I returned to high school teaching 3 years ago. To say that the return back to the high school was a smooth transition would be a lie. That first year back was my toughest year of teaching in all of my two decades in the profession – teaching subjects for which I lacked qualifications, in a new environment where I had to re-establish my credibility (with both fellow teachers and students), dealing with incidents that I felt I was not supported in, not having resources to get the job done, the laundry list goes on. After that first year, I was desperately looking to leave as I didn’t have the camaraderie with people that I was used to which makes the job so much easier and I knew that my “over-the-top” personality rubbed a few people the wrong way but I wasn’t willing to change that about me to fit in – unfortunately (at that time), I didn’t find a position elsewhere. In my second year, I met Chris – burly, rugby playing, craft beer drinking, weightlifting, Chris! We became fast friends. He introduced me to a whole new crew of guys that became my Friday after school stable of drinking buddies. He introduced me to the wonderful world of craft brews. He introduced me to great evenings of pub trivia challenges. He introduced me to the amazing world of hockey pool draft picks (my son was in heaven!). He introduced me to funky parties at his and his wife’s amazing character home. He became my team-mate in a staff year end rally – which we ended up winning  He became my lunch time gym work out buddy – each of us motivating the other. He became my Belllingham brew crew buddy. He became the support I needed to get through that second year at school. He also was there when I was going through my personal growth of the last year. Chris, I am so glad that I met you and I thank you so much for befriending me and just being that awesome guy that you are. I look forward to another school year and hopefully many more as co-workers, but more importantly, as friends!

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