It didn’t hit me quite as hard until Alumni Induction that next year will not be a year filled with my two amazing mentors. Most people just have one TFA 2nd year mentor, but I’ve been lucky enough to have two, both “official” and “unofficial” who have been nothing short of two of my closest friends and dearest inspiration throughout this first year of teaching.
None of us have easy jobs, but there’s an added intricacy of being placed in the reading department with the types of students we teach and the skill-sets we are responsible for. I mean, what child passes high school without learning to be a good reader? I didn’t grow up with reading classes being a real thing, and I had no idea what it meant to be a reading teacher when I got my placement. I would have been thoroughly lost without my mentors, navigating a tight rope of differentiated instruction and mandated curriculum blindly. However, from the very first moment of meeting them, drinks in hand for all at Tobacco Road, I knew they would be the exact mix of academic mentor and friendship/sanity mentor that I needed.
So thank you for every small group lesson you pre-planned and gave me. Thank you for the guidance before our very first Instructional Review from the district. Thank you for helping me find my teaching personality. Thank you for showing me that it was okay to defy some rules and buck some parts of the system. Thank you for the early morning pep talks and the after school hugs. Thank you for always keeping it real with me and bringing me back to realities. Thank you for day drinking and beach adventures, and late nights on South Beach.
There are countless things to thank you for, my blog could not possibly contain all of it. I can’t even begin to imagine filling such big shoes next year in the department. Nor will the department be the same without your big personalities (or room full of colorful felt displays). And most of all, thank you for your confidence in me this year and that next year when you throw me out of the nest, I’ll find some wings to make you proud.