Everyone needs...an Emily.
My good friend, Emily, is a retired teacher. It's been about 5 years since she retired. I'm still trying to get over the fact that she is no longer in "her" room. Emily has always been a mentor to me. She is someone I look up to. She is someone I never want to disappoint.
The lucky part is that once a week, she visits my room. Yep, that's right. Emily has been volunteering one day a week in my room as a gift to me (and my students) for the past 3 years. She works with students, organizes my mess, listens to me vent and helps me/my students with special projects. She comes in the morning and stays the whole day! My students love her and ask about her when she is not there. She is amazing!
Each time she comes, I worry that I have not thanked her enough. I promised her that I would gift a teacher the same gift when I retire. I feel so lucky to have her help.
Last month, she gave me another gift. It was better than my favorite flowers, better than chocolate turtles and just as great as a winning lottery ticket. During one of her visits (and in between me whining about the curriculum and my conference schedule), she told me that she wants me to know that I am a good teacher. Those words and her weekly visits mean more to me than Emily will ever know.
Every teacher needs an Emily. Some day, I'm going to try really hard to be "Emily" for someone else who needs her as much as I do.