November 5 – when your student becomes your co-worker

104/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. In teacher world, it’s not your physical age that makes you old. It’s not your outdated clothes that make you old – okay, I can’t say that I’ve had a problem in that area 😉 . It’s not your references that make you old. It’s not the car that you drive that makes you old. No, the first time you feel old is when a former student you taught becomes your co-worker. I was “fortunate” enough not to have aged until last year. I had heard that some of my former students were teachers in the school district but really, that’s like saying there’s a Sasquatch out there – if you haven’t seen it, does it really exist? So I kept denying their existence thereby keeping my youth alive until it happened. Simon, who I had taught in 1 or 2 classes way back in my first years of teaching in Richmond, got transferred to the school that I was transferred to only two years prior. I can’t lie – I thought it would be awkward for both myself and him as I experienced the same thing because I started teaching at Burnett, the school I went to as a student. I didn’t really know how to talk to my former teachers (who were now my co-workers), let alone call them by their first names. With Simon, it was a total different experience. We immediately connected – it helped that we are both teaching across from each other for ½ the day – and well, we share a love of craft beer. In fact, on several occasions, Simon has shared bottles of his home made brews for me to sample. Also working under similar departments, we have a shared vision of teaching embracing technology and I admire his passion for the career as well as the care and respect that he shows his students. I’m very glad that we segued easily from teacher/student into co-workers and friends – oh, and it is kinda fun having students guess which teacher I taught in the school. Thanks Simon for making this “teacher aging” thing relatively easy and pain-free 😉 I look forward to continuing our friendship. In your honour, I pop a bottle and sample a heavily hopped IPA.

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