Reunions and Networking

Today, I went to a combination reunion party/retirement party/teacher network opportunity/collaborative examination of the student teaching program from which I graduated in 1997.

I didn’t want to get up and go this morning. My bed was warm. I told myself I might get an interview out of it, though, and that I wanted to see Sally. So I went.

This is Sally. She’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, something which is not commonly said about college professors (because they don’t teach — they profess), but is commonly said about Sally. She’s amazing. And she’s retiring. I’m really happy for her, but education is going to be a very different place without her. She leaves behind some big shoes to fill.

As it happens, I was able to snag an interview opportunity today. The English department head for one of the high schools near UGA is deeply involved in the student teaching program that Sally and her frequent collaborator Peg Graham designed.

I will always remember the moment at a GCTE conference several years back when I introduced Sally to Shelia, the other great teaching influence in my life. Shelia was my high school 11th and 12th grade English teacher and later my department head when I went to work at the same school. It is largely because of Shelia that I chose to teach English. It is largely because of Sally that I’m still a teacher. When I introduced these two women, I looked at them and told them they were the best teachers I’d ever had. It meant so much to see them there together, sharing one space.

We filled out memory cards for scrapbooks today, and I forgot to write about this then. I wish I had.