Gratitude is a Two Way Street

I am officially on Christmas holidays. I just finished up the second quint of this school year. For those of you who don’t know, a quint is a mini semester, created to help teachers reduce daily contact with students. It went smashingly well. Here’s why: I had an incredible intern who did her practice teaching time with me. And, well, I couldn’t have asked for a better compadre during this crazy inconsistent time.

I am so grateful to her and her hard work, her trust in me to lead her and her trust that after 24 years of teaching the youth, I’ve learned a couple of things.

She gifted me a work of art that I totally love and she wrote me a letter which I also love. I’m going to share it.

The Letter

Angie frickin’ Counios

Where do I even start? This internship was so much more enjoyable, engaging, educational and hilarious than I ever would have imagined and that is all thanks to you. I learned so many things from you over the past four months about teaching, art, and life.

These things are including, but not limited to:

  1. If you’re stressed you’ve sold out to “the Man.”
  2. If another adult is observing you teach (i.e. principal) just make them laugh and you’ll be fine.
  3. Live close enough to work so if you get a text while you’re pooping at home you can be back at work in a few short minutes.
  4. Keep it real.
  5. We’re not a cure for cancer.
  6. Always start with what you know for sure.
  7. If I follow these rules, I may be lucky enough to turn out like a bad-ass, whip-crack smart, lovely, and generally wonderful person like my friend Angie.

I admire your approach to life and have really coveted your wisdom over these past few months. It has been a privilege and an honour to be able to work with you. I feel so blessed to have someone like you in my life.

Thank you SO MUCH—for putting your faith in my and inviting me to be your intern.

Love, your little piglet, Kyla

I reflect

I was moved by her words. I am grateful that someone got to witness me in the classroom, doing what I do, every day, full throttle. Not a student working on their credit. Not an employer critically observing. But someone who was there to data collect, to accept me as a mentor and maybe a veteran of the classroom, who came in open and willing, who listened—really listened—and didn’t just wait for their turn to talk.

Kyla affirmed that, of all the things I do, teaching is one of the things that I feel I am good at. Have I screwed up? Oh yeah. I sure have. Have I done too much sometimes? Yep. Have I not done enough other times? Affirmative. However, overall, I’ve always tried to use humor, engagement, storytelling, and a sprinkle of love and compassion to get to the end of each day of this marathon of education.

I wish Kyla the best in her future as an educator.

I’m going to miss her.

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