Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Subbed in a special education resource room at an elementary school on this dark, rainy morning. It was easy duty. Being a teacher has definitely helped me become a better person.  Teachers are role models and I learned how to be a good example. I paid attention to what my students learned from other people about courtesy and character.

The best teachers have integrity.  When you see them out in public, away from school, their demeanor is the same as when you see them at school.  Lynn Clague, who taught kindergarten at Osceola, looked loving and serene at school, as well as when i would see her around town.  She taught me so much about integrity and appearing serene, especially when anxiety levels were high. Same with Kathy Boggan, Diane Parentela, and Beth Hobgood, two other amazing kindergarten teachers. Primary teachers are my heroes, because of their ability to maintain a bright, calm, loving countenance, despite all the annoyances and edicts from administration. They are the epitome of grace under pressure.

Each morning that I have gotten up to sub, I have thought of  Lynn.  Using her quiet, calm voice, Lynn taught me to ask myself what I need to do to make my mornings peaceful and as drama-free as possible.  Day by day, I am getting better at it.

I also have been thinking of my little porcupine, Rosie, who forced me to drink more, but also to reach out to strong, kind people, and dive deep under the waves. This child was so oppositional and destructive, through no fault of her own, and I had to learn to be so compassionate with her.  My colleagues-turned-friends taught me about "love bombing," and helped me do it to Rosie that year.

Although I did drink more alcohol that year, I made deep friendships and learned how to go deep under the waves.  Rosie was so oppositional and self-destructive, and powerful.  She was the child my mom wished on me, because I was probably the same way when i was her age.  I learned how to be compassionate that year, to both of us.

A few of us who worked together to keep Rosie on track that year started meeting for lunch.  These monthly lunches were much needed debriefings, accompanied by citrus martinis or sparkling wine, while looking at the ocean.  Teacher therapy.  These women who became so important to me that year were there for me through my dad's illness and death, and my own stroke.  I was supposed to meet them for lunch on that Saturday three years ago, when my head exploded.  Ivy came to the hospital that afternoon, and Charlene, Laura, and Linda came throughout my stay there and in rehab.  Once i was feeling better, they brought lunch. When i moved into my new rental house, they brought lunch.

Since I left Vero, they've met for lunch, and we skyped when i was in the Finger Lakes of New York State. I really miss them. But I am hoping that once i am settled, we can have a Diva Wine Tour out here.  

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