I'm not a blogger, but she is.
I'm not techie, but she is.
I'm not a master teacher, but she is.
I am not prepared for her to leave, but she is.
For four years, I have had the privilege to learn from one of the greatest teachers in our district. I have watched, learned from, and modeled her reader's workshop. I have followed nerdy book blogs that have encouraged me to both read more books and eventually apply for grad school. I have stalked professionals like Donalyn Miller and attended the Teacher's College in New York, all because she is the best teacher I know. And along the way, she has also become an amazing friend who I am going to miss more than I can even fathom.
My life has changed because of her. I am still not a great wordsmith, but I will blog every March during Slice of Life. I am still not techie, but I am not scared to try out new technology tools until I get them right. I am still not a master teacher, but I have a solid foundation upon which I can continue to build. It is only because of her influence that I can say this. She has given me these things.
I readily admit that I was scared of her at first. Who can survive under the shadow of such greatness. Little did I know of her self sacrifice to make those around her better. She pours her heart and soul into everyone, not just the students in her classroom but every person in the school.
So, what do I do now? I keep going. I keep hearing the lines from Top Gun when Carole tells Maverick, "He loved flying with you. But he would've done it anyway, without you. H'd have hated it, but he would've done it." So, I am prepared to hate it, but I'm prepared to do it. And there will be days when I say, "Talk to me, Goose," and try to figure out exactly what you would do.
You are going to be amazing at this new job, just like you are now. That won't make me miss you less, and I am only beginning to realize just how fortunate I am to have spent so much time with you as my teacher, mentor, and friend. This week will be hard. Next week will be harder. But we are all better for your influence, passion, drive, and love. Thank you for everything, Tenille!