October 22 – the mentor becomes the mentee

90/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. What do they say about when the trainee surpasses the trainer? Probably something good about the trainer and maybe that’s true to some respect but I think it speaks volumes about the trainee and their personality and work ethic. I worked with Mike when he first started teaching as an art teacher back in the mid 90s (or maybe earlier – I’m getting old and I’m sure it was art – okay, maybe I’m really old 🙂  ). The school district had a mentorship program where the mentored teacher selected a veteran teacher to show them the ropes. Usually, the selected mentor is from the same teaching area but Mike selected me – the guy from Business Education. I would like to think it’s because of my amazing skills but I know that it’s more the fact that I befriend people and start up genuine conversations with people and that probably struck a chord with Mike.   Over the course of the year, I got to know Mike inside of school but more importantly outside of the school in a more casual setting. We also got together with our significant others for dinners a couple of times and found out that Mike and my wife had links to the same BC community in the interior. I really felt honoured that Mike chose me as his mentor and although the goal was for him to learn from me, I learned a great deal from him – his passion, compassion, genuine care for students and understanding of pedagogy being some of the qualities I came to admire in him. Oh, and the fact that he has these killer ice blue/green eyes!! Damn, he won the lottery on that front for a brown guy! 😉 We lost touch, as most often happens, when you move on in careers but I knew that he had become Vice Principal and was very happy for him. But even happier for me, last year, he ended up being the Vice Principal at the school I am at. We have reconnected and he was the first staff member that I shared with about my separation as I consider him to be like a little brother – albeit, a smarter, more capable little bro than me! I am so glad that we are working together once again and am really proud of what you have become from the days when I first knew you! I appreciate the knowledge and wisdom that you share and the innovative ways you look at teaching – I look forward to working with you for a long time hopefully!  I create a playlist and play it in the halls in your honour!!

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