Saturday, June 6, 2015

agree to disagree

I met Katie when I was a very young buck. (Is that a saying?) During our first year, I taught sixth grade and she taught eighth.

I don't remember becoming super close with her until a few months into the school year. One of her students, Jasmine, was upset that her brother, Petie, had her shoes. Or maybe the other way around, but Petie was in my class and Jasmine was in Katie's. And so the kids had to talk and then Katie and I really started talking too. And then the rest is history! You can imagine how we easily bonded over our grueling first year of teaching - the being nervous of our first evaluations, the tears over classroom management gone wrong, and the joys of coaching kids in sports and holding after school clubs.

Oh - some pics of Petie....

When he was a sixth grader and we were at Jasmine's Quince...

And then I think this was sometime after he finished eighth grade, though it's kinda hard to tell. Anyways, we are still facebook friends, and I just love that kid!

But I digress. Back to the point about me and my best friend. Sorry, feeling a little nostalgic there!

So Katie still works in Phoenix and I'm over here in Chicago. We have been the best of friends all along the way. We talk on the phone at least three times a week, I ask her for advice, she vents to me and vice versa. We share all our joys and frustrations as coaches - she's an Instructional Coach and I, of course, am a Literacy Coach.

But then there's this other part of education that we don't talk about. We have kinda agreed to disagree about some topics, like standardized testing and unions.

Michelle believes: Kids shouldn't take so many standardized tests!
Katie believes: Test the kids till they cry! (She said that, jokingly of course, but she believes in standardized tests way more than I do!)

The other day I posted this excellent article. I happened to talk to Katie a few days later and tests came up. I said, "Oh, did you read that article? Wasn't the blueberry metaphor just perfect?"

She tells me, "I already know what all the articles you post are going to say, so I just don't read them!"

Michelle believes: Unions allow teachers to have a voice in policy
Katie believes: Unions protect ineffective teachers

Katie just posted this article on her facebook page - about how AZ is underfunding it's schools and their teachers are the lowest paid. I wanted to comment right away and tell her, "You need to work in a unionized state where teachers have a voice!" But I didn't. I bit my tongue. Well, until today, when I posted a much nicer version of it.

See... I have this amazing best friend. She's such a fabulous educator, she's so stinkin' smart and can talk me down when I so mad I'm boiling on the inside. She inspires me and makes me laugh and I'm so proud that we share our teaching roots together. But, we also disagree very passionately about some topics, so we just don't talk about them.

I know you may be thinking, "But why? Doesn't it hurt your feelings that you can't talk about that stuff? Those are your passions, your beliefs!"

You see, we've tried to talk about this stuff. One day, I happened to be talking about it at Hektor's, and he was listening in on the conversation. We ended up having to agree to disagree and get off the phone - we were both getting so upset! As soon as I hung up he said, "That's what you two talk about?" He thinks we're such nerds, but really, we're both just so passionate but on opposite sides of the spectrum.

You might think it's weird of us, but it works. I seriously love this girl so much, and am so thankful every day that's she's been a part of this journey we call life. So, I'm willing to leave one little topic off the table to continue to be besties with this girl, the girl who just commented on a facebook thread to me, "You're dumb but you're cute!" Hey, I'll take it!

What about you and your teaching bestie? Anything off the table?

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like me and my family more than me and my teaching friends. My family voted for this disaster we have in education in Kansas right now. We seriously cannot talk politics. And my dad is seriously anti-union, and in some cases I am, I think they can hurt small business owners, but I will not teach without my union. My concern is not ineffective teachers but that every teacher runs into someone, sometime that disagrees with them and we are not perfect, without that union protection we are wide open for being held liable for just about anything.


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