First, we both geek out about the same stuff routinely: Goal Setting, Student Led Conferences, Reflection by students, 21st Century Skills? We are so there, chatting via text or email routinely about how we can further use these skills to help our kids be successful. We are like gunslingers in the Wild West, pulling our iPhones from our holsters to look up learning standards or test specifications, to keep meetings focused and moving along. We often bounce ideas off each other and are that supportive sounding board that is so often needed when dealing with kids in need, questioning parents and peers.
Next, we have this connection to our 50 kids that makes sharing the good and bad moments equally comfortable. We both light up when receiving an email from one student who spied fractions in her pumpkin pie, and another who has already emailed us that he has jumped into his January homework by finding a map of the US to study the states. We both laugh when we look out and see the flurry of busy bodies madly wrapping gifts for their families with everyone happily at work. We both tear up at their successes, growth and sheer happiness, like an opportunity room slip from one student who wanted to stay in to write more, when we could barely get her to write a sentence in September. Our dance skills are learned on the fly (anyone Do the Dougie recently?) but we are completely fine with showing our kids that we are learning right along with them. Next up, meeting a student's Christmas card request for a "Level 4 Tango please!"
Last, we are both highly committed to and motivated by what we do, and at the same time supportive and celebratory of each other’s success. We push each other along (yes Celina, I will write about my growth in Science this year!) and we challenge each other to bring our best every day. We encourage each other to try something new and can help each other in making it happen. We learn from each other and we feel no need to compete or show off because we are standing together. We are each other's best advocate.
The funny thing is this reflection comes after a chance meeting with a group of ladies who will be doing an art grant at our school. They moved around our room, soaking in the activity and "business as usual" focused chaos, and commented that we must have spent a lot of time coming to this creation. That Celina and I must have worked together closely for years before attempting this. Which made me laugh, because the answer is no, it was a bit of serendipity that we connected in this way. A few chats, a few ideas shared, a few discussions about what we envisioned, that led to this amazing partnership. One that has helped me to grow and will continue to help me to progress exponentially. We tell our students that there is no ceiling, not for them in their learning, and at the same time not for us either. Thanks for being my partner Celina! ~ Ann