As 2016 comes to a close, I find myself being nostalgic and thinking back at the school year. I always come to one big realization… much I appreciate my colleagues and co-workers at the middle school I teach in. I have been at the school since 1999 and have been blessed to work with some of the most hard-working teachers and colleagues. Over the years, the students come and go as middle school is only 3 short years! One thing I know I can always count on is my peer teachers who are there through thick and thin and work tireless hours to help children with their homework, tests, etc. Several of them arrive at the school as early as 6:30am in order to beat traffic and get work done before the students show up on the bus or through the carpool lane. Some will even hold tutorials in the morning twice a week for students needing extra assistance.

Once the school day actually begins, these teachers are teaching children important life skills along with curriculum content. Some of the teachers have their own children at home and have to leave at the end of the day to take care of their own families. Many of my colleagues stay after school to assist with after-school intramurals or with clubs. All of these things take an enormous amount of planning and energy and thus add to the already lengthy day!

Every week, we work together according to the grade level and the content we teach. I know that my particular PLC (professional learning community) is a very efficient group. We help one another to design lessons, tests and quizzes. This makes it easier for everyone involved because it allows us to plan for the entire week of lessons with minimal effort. Since there are five of us, we all take turns accomplishing things that need to get done. If need be, we’ll copy for one another just to help each other out, so the others can go and get other important things done! Throughout the day, we have limited time, so any little bit helps in terms of a helping hand.

The best part of my school building and why I am so thankful for the people I work with is that you can ask anyone to do something for you, and they are right there getting it done. I have an awesome co-worker who comes to my rescue if I am not feeling well and can’t come in for the day. I know I can always rely on her to be there for the kids and me if I have to call in sick. She will gather all my papers together and leave them for the substitute teacher or leave copies if the kids have to be farmed to other teachers.

I really couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. They are always there when you need them, and I find them to be a great group of people who work hard but also know how to have fun as well. Above you will see a picture of some of them as they love to be creative this time of year and design their own holiday flare of costumes. These guys always make me smile because of their kindness and great personalities!