In writing last week, I mentioned I attended the memorial of one of my mentors, Dr. Gerald Hasselman. During the memorial, I looked around and realized I was sitting in an ocean of educational greatness. More importantly, I realized that these people’s friendship and camaraderie have stayed and tested time.
Riding home, I thought about my teacher friendships that have also moved with time. Yes, these core friends will drop anything to help. I also realized that teacher friendships and relationships are becoming a “thing of the past.” I remember early on in teaching, at the end of the day, we would “hang around and visit” for a little while. Slower days, they were, I guess.
I asked one of them the other day, “Reckon why?” As we talked, we came up with several ideas.
Did not move schools as much as they do today.
Lived in the community of the school.
Went to the same church.
Children were the same age.
… and a few more I’m sure you can come up with.
More than anything else, we decided that our lives did not have the hustle and bustle they do today. There are so many “things” we are involved in with ourselves or with our families. What’s an average day going home…? Get to the bank or the cleaners before they close, run by the grocery store to pick up something for supper, get children to practice for whatever sport they are in, check/go over your children’s homework, etc. And… the best school taboos… An hour and a half faculty meeting, get home to get tomorrow’s lesson ready, grade papers, etc… Before you know it, it’s time to shower and go to bed (and don’t forget to ask how your spouse’s day went).
Now, I want to get home as quickly as anyone, but… we are losing one of our greatest educational strengths – each other. Who better understands us than other teachers? At the end of the school day, the bell rings, and we hear, “See you tomorrow.” Social media and texting have taken the place of conversations that includes the going on’s of your family, not the smack talk of gossip. Having another teacher listen and ask questions, connect mentally, provide realness, offer help, and celebrate is the camaraderie we are missing.
As the school year begins, make an effort to have camaraderie with your colleagues. There will be some you do not “click” with, and that’s ok. However, you will appreciate the social and emotional side of your well-being when you do find those with whom you do “click,” and your friendship stays intentional.
Two more thoughts for this blog stand out as we close…
- For the Andy Griffith fans out there, the episode of “What’s Your Hurry” comes to mind.
- For the “Toy Story” fans, with Andy and Buzz… “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
Both of these practiced intentionally, can be of great help.
Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…
Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…
©2022 J Clay Norton
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