I am blessed to have worked with some pretty spectacular teaching colleagues over the years. My most memorable friends are those who I’ve learned from, laughed with, and who have made each school day a bit brighter. Each and every teacher brings something to add to the unique and dynamic culture that makes up a stellar school building.
Here are My Top 10 Teacher Friends that I couldn’t live without…
She’s the one that you constantly confide in and vent to when you think you just can’t make it another day. She’s the one who ALWAYS has a way with words to make it better. You’d trust her with anything, including your students. She’s the one that, just upon hearing her voice, you’re moved to tears over something that’s been building up. She’d never tell you if your students had a horrible day with a substitute, knowing that it would upset you unnecessarily. She listens intently and kindly, even if that’s all you need her to do. The Confidante is the teacher that refuels your teaching “love tank.” Remember to hug and thank her often!
This teacher is very likely a mentor to many other teachers. She’s the first one that graduating seniors stop by to see, and they often say that she’s, “always been my favorite teacher.” She could teach with her eyes closed, but still devotes countless hours of her personal time to her students and parents. She is highly respected and admired by teachers in the building and district. Parents adore her, and she has most likely taught two or more of their children. The Veteran is the one you go to for an endless treasure trove of teaching ideas and toolkit of behavior management techniques. This is the teacher that sets the tone and culture for your school. Watch and learn!
Ohhhh, my Soul Sistas. This is one that certainly, NO teacher can survive without, and I’ve been lucky to have acquired a few incredible Soul Sisters over the years. Very often, Soul Sisters teach next door to you, but they can even be in a different grade level or a cherished childhood friend. Your Soul Sister is the one that always gets your sense of humor, even if she’s the only one who laughs at your story or that YouTube video clip during your planning period. She’s the first one you share good news and bad news with. You and your Soul Sister wear matching colored skinny jeans on certain days because you’re so very “in sync.” She’s the one who can decipher your opinion with a single “look” during Faculty Meetings. Come to think of it, she’s also the one you probably shouldn’t sit next to during Faculty Meetings so you won’t chat too much. This is the teacher that is your favorite person to spend your days with, other than your students, of course!
The Leader is who you want to be when you “grow up” someday, even if you’ve been teaching for many years. She’s inspiring, motivated, and dedicated, not only to her students, but in her service to other teachers. She often presents in meetings or workshops, and you learn from her every single time. You’d love to spend the day watching her teach and interact with her students. The Leader is the backbone of a successful school building because she’s always growing, always innovating, always inspiring others.
The Fun One makes everything a party, including her classroom. Her students are always smiling and her classroom is always a bit chaotic and disorganized, but it works beautifully! She’s always up for a good time and lightens the mood during faculty meetings. This is the teacher that eases the intensity and stress of the day to day teaching routine. Don’t go to her for detailed lesson plans, but DO go to her if you want to see “teaching on your toes.” Let’s face it. Teaching is WAY more of an art than a science anyway. Take time to laugh with The Fun One!
Now this is the teacher that you ALWAYS go to for detailed lesson plans, because they’ve most likely been categorized, filed, and color-coded by subject and theme for the past ten years. This teacher always lines up her post it notes in perfect right angles on her desk. (And don’t you DARE try to mess them up!) Her email inbox always reads (0) and everything of importance has been moved to electronic folders within 15 minutes. If you need a master copy, she not only has one filed under a logical category, it is most likely inside a page protector with a backup copy behind it. Lord knows that without the Type A One, your entire teaching team would likely miss deadlines and end up swimming helplessly in a sea of paperwork. The Type A One makes ALL of our lives easier, so milk it for all it’s worth!
Oh, the precious new teachers! They bring life, energy, and Pinterest ideas galore into our schools. I remember my very first principal LOVED hiring first year teachers because of our drive and enthusiasm, and she dotingly called us her “young lions.” Truthfully, we all need a few young lions to help us remember that we’re still setting an example, yet we still have MUCH to learn as our world continues to change. Part of me misses being a Newbie and having 100% of myself to throw into my students each day and night, yet still having enough energy for Happy Hour every Friday afternoon. The Newbies are the brand new generation of teachers, and they’re walking into the blazing reality of the teaching profession. Now, let’s do everything we can to KEEP them here.
More than likely, most of the teachers you know are The Expert in at least one subject area. They know the content like the back of their hand, know how to deliver it effectively, AND keep their students engaged. This teacher knows all the tricks and tips to make objectives truly “stick.” If a teacher is The Expert in math instruction, that is most likely her students’ favorite subject too, even the ones that happen to struggle with math. You should take time to observe The Expert in his or her master subject as much as possible, because I assure you, it will be magical. Take time to consider your own instructional weaknesses and connect with Experts who can help you grow.
This teacher is loved and admired by students, parents, and teachers. He has all the characteristics of an effective teacher, but relationships are his number one priority. This teacher connects on a personal level with an infinite number of people within your school. The Popular One might have a specialty teaching position in which he or she accesses all students in the school (our media specialist comes to mind). The Popular One is also usually the eyes and ears for the “big picture” for your school, so his opinion should be valued.
The Peacekeeper is NO Drama Llama, and has no patience with those who are. She focuses on building relationships, and consistently searches for the silver lining in all situations. The Peacekeeper has ZERO tolerance for complainers and only spends her energy on finding better solutions that best support the needs of everyone. She most likely embraces the philosophy that what is in the best interest of the students should be in the best interest of everyone.
So which one of the Top 10 is YOUR favorite Teacher Friend? And more importantly, which Teacher Friend are you to others? Please comment below!
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