Have you met Kate?
|Kate and I (before we met Rick Yancey)|
|Kate and I with Donalyn Miller and Sugarbear|
Four years ago, Kate became my teaching counterpart when my previous counterpart moved into a leadership role at our district administrative center. As thrilled as I was to have her voice in a leadership role, I was not happy to see Rachel leave. I was not happy to have been left out of the interview process for her replacement. I was not happy.
I am ashamed to admit that for the first few months, I coped with the transition by secretly referring to Kate as "the Kate I hate." Luckily, I am surrounded by wise women who nudged and coached me to just give her time.
And luckily, Kate is one of those women. She was wise enough and bold enough to weather my disdainful looks and impatient sighs.
Before long, her previous nomenclature was replaced with, "That's my Kate!"
For next school year, due to shifting enrollment, Kate was bumped from our middle school to the high school.
Once again, I am not happy.
But this time, I am listening to the wisdom in my own heart. I am listening to the whispers of joy over having such an amazing colleague and friend to miss. Here are just a few of the things that make "my Kate" so worthy of celebration:
1| She has a fierce love of books and kids and the magic that happens when they are connected.
2| She turns nuggets of professional development into concrete classroom practice in a matter of minutes. (Okay, minutes might be an exaggeration, but she always beats me to it!)
3| She finds the gem inside each and every student she meets, patiently listens for what their hearts need to hear, and nurtures freely.
4| She. does. not. give. up.
5| Her burps come from all the way down in her toes. So does her passion for working with readers and writers.
6| She is smart as a whip. Maybe even smarter.
7| She writes with her students--the kind of words that make me envious of her ability to craft, especially in the presence of middle school students.
That's my Kate!