Monday, November 19, 2012

Up and Coming

One day, several years ago probably, I crossed the line from teacher to old teacher. Although I didn't even notice it, clearly the boundary has been breached. Oh, I remember how it was when I first started, building relationships with the veterans, asking for guidance, hoping for approval, but secretly looking at them kind of critically, too. What could they possibly know that I didn't? One thing they weren't? Friends.

But now, the tables have turned, the shoe's on the other foot, insert your own proverb here, and younger, less experienced teachers are everywhere. It's just another part of the job to negotiate a professional relationship with them, never mind a personal one.

This year, as a result of our expanding enrollment, we have gone from 2 teams to three, and so now we Dolphins share our space with the Sting Rays. Some of that team were on our team last year, but of course there are new folks, too, and one of them is the science teacher. She is young and brash, and the introvert in me has taken some time to warm to her.

Last weekend, on our trip to the beach, we found some fossilized ray teeth, and when word got back to my friends on the Ray team, they were curious about it. After a grade level meeting, I quickly filled them in, and as one thing led to another, we exchanged a little fun trash talk, something about dolphins this and rays that. I was laughing as I turned to leave, when the new girl gave me an ironic salute.

"Peace out, Flipper."

I kind of liked that.

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