Recognising right relationships

Yesterday was the end of an era. September will be a new classroom and new office space – when I say new, I mean new for me! The room and office I’ve been in for the last six years is a great space, with a fantastic view of Canterbury cathedral. There have been a lot of memories made there, with great groups taught, and lots of cuppas made. 

It’s a big office, and three years ago I was approached by a colleague to see if she might be able to move in and share it with me. I agreed – after all it was a big office – and she moved in. I have to admit I was slightly apprehensive. I didn’t really know her, even though she used to give me lifts into school, and I do like my own space. I never had any need to be apprehensive at all. 

In a way I am glad that I’m moving rooms as yesterday was also the last day for that colleague and I’m not sure how I would have coped with her not being there.

I don’t think I realised how much her leaving was going to affect me, but it really has, and there have been heartfelt cards, texts, drinks, ending with a long tear filled hug last night.

It has made me realise how important it is to have the right relationships. I know some people like to segregate their lives and compartmentalise, and that may work for them, but that is most definitely not me. I think it is important to have people in the important places of your life who know other aspects of your life, to help get the bigger picture. These are a few reasons why I think this relationship was so right, and why I’m going to miss it – on a day to day basis.

  1. We had a lot of laughs! We seem to have the same sense of humour and there was laughter most days. This was mainly when she was interrupting my lessons…but hey that added extra entertainment for the pupils.
  2. We had tears! We’ve both gone through some pretty rubbish times (serious understatement I know) but tears were fine, they were allowed.
  3. We had silence! This worked in two ways, we were quite good at getting on with our work when we were in there together – not a skill others have! But we could also sense when the other wasn’t in a great mood but didn’t want to talk about it, we didn’t force it but knew we could talk if needed.
  4. We had a lot of drinks! Although at the end of term this may have resulted in drinks of the alcoholic variety there were a lot of cups of coffee, tea, green tea made and delivered. We also mastered the art of hot chocolate for pupils who were coming in for a much needed chat.
  5. We vented! I don’t think anything else needs to be added there. Teaching is a lonely profession, and it was good to have that person, who had similar values to you, to share those frustrations.

The thing I am most grateful for was something she did for me back in November, as she was the one who told me to make an appointment with the dr, and actually took me to the appointment. If I hadn’t gone at that point in time I’m not sure I would have made it this far. Why did she make me make that phone call? She had walked in on me in tears too many times, she had been there herself and knew the signs, she knew I wouldn’t do it myself and that I needed to be told.

So what can I say? I always admired and respected her as a teacher and a colleague. After these three years admire and respect don’t seem good enough. She gives everything she has to everything she does. She gives so much to everyone who is a part of her life. She is one of the most honest people I know. And I am pleased to be able to call her a friend.

I am so pleased for her as she starts the next adventure, and I’m looking forward to visiting her! She has given so much to teaching but I have seen the toll it has taken, and am pleased that she is living whilst she was still enjoying it.

We always tried to make the office a safe space for children to com to if they needed to, but I think it also became that place for us – when it was all hitting the fan we knew it was safe in there. I know that I will miss that space, I will miss her, and that she won’t be replaced. But I also know now how important it is for me to have those relationships at work.

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