One of the highlights of my day came in the form of a visitor from the county level. I usually get a drop-in visit from the department head at least once a year. That's never really bothered me, mostly because I'd known the former department head for years. I had worked with her at another school and even babysat her children on occasion. Seeing Mary walk in the door was never intimidating, it was like running into an old friend.
A lot has changed in the county over the past year. Many of those familiar higher-ups, like Mary, have retired. I know a few of the new people but in this time of transition it seems that many of the jobs that had been held so long by the same people are now being held by individuals on a temporary basis. A few teachers have come out of retirement to help out in the interim.
Such was the case today when I met a former 9th grade English teacher who was there to observe me. She showed up at the beginning of 1st period, allowing us a few minutes to chat. From the get-go this retired teacher was nothing but positive. She remarked how wonderful it was that I had spent 10 years in elementary school-how knowing where these 6th graders had come from and what they had learned could only help them as they transitioned to middle school.
Yes, I've thought that for years and although I had a lot to learn when I arrived in middle school I knew I had a great deal to offer as well. It was nice to hear it from someone else.
My observer sat and watched the flow of the lesson. She nodded and smiled as the students responded to my questions and offered questions and opinions of their own. First period can be a quiet group but today they did not disappoint, they were engaged and interested. By the time class ended I didn't need someone else to tell me how effective the lesson was, I could see that for myself. However, it was nice to start the day off with a compliment from a stranger.
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