I have been teaching at the same elementary school in West Hartford, CT since the fall of 1999. The way that this school and its people have become intertwined in my life astounds me.
Just over the course of the Columbus Day weekend:
- I went to a Moth StorySLAM in Boston with a former colleague.
- I went apple picking with two colleagues and their children.
- I played golf with two former colleagues and the parent of former students.
- I exchanged a lengthy set of amusing text messages with the parent of former students.
- I had lunch with two colleagues.
- One of my former students babysat my children, as she does quite often.
- I spent a great deal of time with my wife, who is also a former colleague.
Eleven different people in all over the course of four days.
Sometimes a job is just a job. You come and go. Make a friend, perhaps. Eat lunch with coworkers. Share cake in break rooms to celebrate birthdays. You might go home and tell your spouse about so-and-so at work, but the relationships rarely extend beyond the walls of the workplace.
But sometimes a job becomes a part of you. The people who you work with become a part of your life and your soul. They become embedded in all that you do.
They are some of the most important people in your life.
I'm not sure if it's the nature of teaching or the length of time that I have spent in one place or simply the extraordinary people with whom I have worked and whose children I have taught, but many of the most important people in my life were met under the roof of my school.
Teachers. Parents. Students.
I often marvel at how different my life would be today had I not been hired for a teaching job at my school on a morning in May almost 20 years ago.