Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sharing Our Pasts - SOLC #2

A first year teacher I have the pleasure of working with, was chatting with me this week in the hall.  She had just gotten back from a skiing trip to Utah with her family last weekend and I was inquiring about her trip.  It sounded incredible.

One thing led to another, and our conversation shifted to how I lived in Utah for a year and a half back in the 80's (long before this darling teacher was even a gleam in her parents' eyes!).  She was curious to know how I got to Utah, and if I had lived there, why would I ever come back to Ohio??!!!

Last year, during the SOLC, I told the story of moving out west as a 22 year old; first to Jackson, Wyoming and then a little further south to Salt Lake City, Utah.  But this new colleague only knows me as an experienced teacher, and she was surprised at what I shared.  As time got away from us, she questioned me further about some details.  And at the end, she very gratefully thanked me for sharing this particular story with her.

I didn't question her further about what she was thanking me for, but it did make me stop and wonder.  I do get  her surprise about my life "before" what it is today.  After all, I have two daughters very close to her age, who still are surprised at my unconventional move out west -- I didn't have a place to live, didn't have a job, didn't know anyone, didn't have a place to live, and really couldn't ski very well at all.  Who does that?!!

But I wonder if the other surprise is that she has only known me in one role - that of someone who helps her with her professional growth in language arts.  And to take it a step further, if that's the case, then I think I need to share more of my early wanderings with the younger teachers with whom I work.  It makes me more real, and someone who doesn't know all the answers in life.  I'm not even sure I have this answer, but I'm still wondering nonetheless...

Thanks to Ruth and Stacey for hosting us again for the Slice of Life Challenge.  Head on over there to find out what other "slicers" have to say each and every day.  I love hearing the behind scenes thinking and stories from so very many of you.

15 comments:

  1. Okay, I will expect to hear this story of your life in June at All Write over a cold beverage :-)

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    1. I would love to sit down and chat with you anytime! I think June would be perfect. :)

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  2. Karen, it's a little bit like our students thinking we dont' go to the grocery store (or to the bathroom). I remember when my first graders thought I slept at school. You're right, it's important to share the other part of our lives with those we spend our days with. It makes us real. :)

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    1. Julie - you're right -- it is like the analogy of how students view us.

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  4. I always find it interesting to hear about how the lives of people I'm close to were before we knew each other. All our paths are so different, so it's always neat to hear how we got to the same point. Does that make sense?

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    1. I agree - none of us would be where we are now without all those prior events, but it is fun to find out what they are! :)

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  5. I think I had a similar look of surprise when you told me about this in December at dinner. It just seemed so out of character for you - or at least the you I know now. I think it gives hope to those of us who wonder if we'll ever "get it together" when we hear about what you did before.
    That being said, I'm hoping to hear more at All Write, too! :)

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  6. I think that's part of the reason why slicing with colleagues is so powerful. We get to see each other in new ways.
    Ruth

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  7. I know none of us have 'all' the answers but this sounds like one good one, Karen. I think it's what builds our community here, to begin to know about others' stories, happy or not so much, but real. Nice that you told some of your story to this young teacher.

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  8. It's funny how people we meet first see us as the people we already are, sometimes they leave it at that, and sometimes they want the back story. I have a young colleague the age of my daughter, too - it's an interesting dynamic, isn't it?!

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  9. I'm with Teresa - June, All Write, cold beverage - let's talk. :)

    Also, I love this. Sometimes I need to remember those early days of teaching and stop by the younger teacher's rooms. Remind them I know what it's like.

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  10. When we share our past lives, we do seem more real, espoecially to those much younger. When I do look back, I sometimes wonder how I did some of the things I did.
    Thoughtful post - thanks.

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  11. I remember your story from last year, Karen! You're absolutely right, all of these past events really do build us to be the people we are today. I think those who are newer to the education field than we are tend to view us as these strong fortresses of knowledge, and it surprises them to know we were once just like them! :)

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  12. It's Sunday night at 8:00 in Denver. I just got back from a two hour planning session with a couple of my baby teachers. The whole time I was with them, I was thinking about this slice. I'm thinking I need to tell more of my early year teacher stories, or my teacher failure stories, because their perception of me is that I always know what I'm doing, which is so, so, so far from the truth…

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