How do you tell someone who is, not only a co-worker, but someone you consider to be a friend, that you will miss them?
I have been informed (‘need to know’??) in recent days, that a couple of my fellow teachers are leaving their respective schools. The dilemma I face is, both of these teachers I’ve become very good friends with. Not that we are anything more than co-workers, but I do consider both of these educators as friends. Not the kind of friends that go out together, or share the same interests, but when it comes to friends, I must admit, that I don’t have a lot of close friends. I have several people I consider good people, but as far as friends, that’s tough.
To me, a friend is someone I can share things with, and yet know that those things (aka information) will be kept between us. A friend is supportive. A friend understands what you have done, or are going through. A friend is someone who can help me through difficulties. Someone who can assist me when I need help. Someone I can talk to, and know that they are not judging me. Hmm. Now I know why I don’t have a lot of close friends!
Both of these people have great attitudes. Their personalities are very similar. They listen, they give opinions, easy to talk to, and yet, are able to be constructive in their views and suggestions. My friends will usually agree with my ideas and opinions as well. Perhaps it all a ruse, but after working with each of them, I don’t get the feeling that they are in any way, two-faced. And the topper is, they both have positive attitudes towards their own lives and opinions as well.
I think that they both take an open attitude toward the way that I teach. They are both willing to jump in and help out, when I am struggling. Since the students are not English speakers, and both these teachers do understand English, they can assist in explaining or translating when absolutely necessary. For a foreign teacher, who does not speak the local language, this is a great advantage to me. However, I don’t call upon that assistance unless absolutely necessary.
Both these teachers work at different schools. Both have been around for over a year. Both have great control and rapport over their classes. Both took a bit of time to ‘size me up’ and, honestly, I was the same way. It wasn’t an immediate ‘click’, but over time, I’ve become very attached to both of them. The attachment is strictly professional, but it is a shared professionalism.
Both of these teachers, coincidentally enough, will be leaving at about the same time, from their respective schools. I think that each one brings a uniqueness to their schools, that will be hard to find in someone else. However, like any other situation, there will be others to follow in their shoes, and hopefully, become as integral a part of the schools, as these two have been.
I hope that each considers me a friend as well. I hope that each stays in contact once they leave the schools. One teacher, I know, will be going on to another location. Perhaps it will be another good contact for me in the future! The other teacher, I’m not exactly sure. I have an idea, but as I try to be a good friend, following the qualities I seek in MY friends, I will let this person decide what information they want to share.
I wish both of them the absolute best of luck, in their future plans. I am truly saddened to know that, two people I’ve become so close to, are departing. Life goes on. Goals need to be achieved. It would be selfish of me to try to talk them out of their decisions. All I can do, is give them my best of luck, and support, and encourage them both to stay in contact.
I don’t know how long I will be staying in Taiwan, but I do hope that for my time here, they will stay in contact with me. Who knows. Perhaps we may end up teaching together again, in the future. For me, that would be wonderful.
That’s it, that’s all… for now!