…enjoying three or four-hour lunches with friends…
Nearly five years ago…way back at the end of July 2010, God helped me secure my first teaching position at a private school in town. That is where I met Jane, who was also beginning her teaching career.
We quickly developed a strong bond, united by our love for Jesus, our devotion to our family, and the angst of being first-year teachers.
I went back and re-read my blog post from that day and word, but I put myself in my feels (as the teenagers and my good friend, Megan [who is a good friend of mine and much closer to being a teenager than I am]) would say.
I’d forgotten that Chicky was still at home, counting down the days until I took her to college for the first time. It was a month of new beginnings. She took my first-day-of-teaching picture…
The first day of school was filled with nerves, but I insisted that Jane and I capture the special morning with pictures.
Green room…the size of a large walk-in closet…no kidding.
Jane had her room all ready as well and a smile to match mine.
We took our first picture together. We would eventually perfect the art of selfies, as evidenced by the first picture in this post and the one you’ll see at the end.
I’m not sure that I would have made it through that first year without Jane, who was one door down from me in the single hallway that constituted the upper grades of our small school.
We prayed together often, commiserated with one another when our plans went awry, and bounced ideas off of each other in an effort to help our students…most of whom we shared because I taught English and taught social studies (we both still teach those same subjects).
Our days also included much laughter.
I’ll never forget the day she knocked on my door. She NEVER did that while I was in the middle of class, so I stepped out. “What’s up?” I asked.
“I just wanted to tell you that the elastic in my pants broke,” she replied, bending over in laughter.
I shook my head in amusement and went back to class, smiling at our conversation. How she remedied the situation remains a secret. 😉
Our afternoon breaks were filled with music that I liked to play loudly from my room.
I may have danced, a time or two, down the hallway during breaks in teaching, much to Jane’s amusement.
I also might have gotten busted by another teacher.
Jane encouraged me while I worked my way through the alternative educator preparation program at a local college. It was difficult coursework, and every time I started new classes, I cried because I was overwhelmed. Jane would go into Mama-mode and offer suggestions. She’d gone through the program the year before, so she truly empathized.
The next summer, in 2011, I changed schools to the one I’m currently teaching at. Not seeing Jane every day has been hard because we’ve always been close.
We don’t get to see each other in person often. Thank heavens for Facebook and Instagram.
That is why we treasure our school breaks and always try to schedule lunches together. I usually block out the day because I know that we will spend hours catching up…reminiscing…venting…reflecting…learning from each other.
Truly, she inspires me. She teaches five preps. That’s five different classes, folks. She’s as energetic and enthusiastic as I am, which is probably why we get along so well.
She had planned to retire at the end of this past school year and had even cleaned out her classroom. Her plans fell through. I guess God has decided that she still has things to accomplish at her school, so she’ll be back at it in August (although she’s already begun lesson planning…gah!).
Thus we shall commence with haphazard texts, frequent “likes” and comments on each others’ social media posts, and sporadic phone calls. This teaching business leaves little time and energy for personal indulgences.
I love Jane dearly and will continue to cherish the time…the long lunches…we spend together.