Slice of Life is a weekly event hosted by Two Writing Teachers.
As teachers, as librarians, as professionals that work with students, we work very hard at cultivating and growing relationships with students. Many of you have written on this topic. I am constantly awed and amazed at some of the beautiful ways you have created relationships with students.
But what about relationships we have with adults?
There have recently been a couple of instances in my professional life that has made me think about this.
I have worked in a double position for a couple of years now. Part of the day I am an interventionist. I work with students. Part of the day I am a coach. I work with adults. The role of a coach is still relatively new, and there is not a defined way to approach this position. I've approached it in many ways, but let's just say I'm still trying to work out what is best. As a coach, you form a working relationship with colleagues. These relationships can help two individuals grow, or they can be full of friction. How you approach each individual is different. I need to be different. It's hard to change who you are to make a relationship grow. It's something I'm still working on.
Over the past two years, I've formed new relationships with colleagues that span the globe. I have learned so much from people by reading blogs, articles, books, tweets and voxes. I have grown immensely, as well as the relationships I have with these communities I consider many people I have met good friends. I know that has happened to many of you, as well! Think of the wonderful communities we have formed - writing and reading, Twitter friends, friends I see at conferences, blog friends and friends I speak with everyday through voxer. I feel very fortunate to have found so many new relationships. At this point, I could feel very satisfied, and start closing the circle - after all, I've found my "peeps". The circle can be closed now, right?
But by not saying hello to someone new.
By not reading that new blog.
By not stopping and talking to someone at a conference.
By not keeping my head up and looking people in the eyes.
By not welcoming that new person to the community.
Then I wouldn't have made new connections. And sometimes that new person, can make a difference. It doesn't have to be a big difference. For instance, I've recently started up a few conversations with someone I found through the blog community and then Twitter, Jennifer Laffin (@laffinteach). We quickly found out we live maybe a half hour away from each other. Of course, the first time we met (AllWrite) we had to drive almost 4 hours to do so! But we met yesterday at Starbucks and she helped me redo my blog! (I really like the new look!) It's a good thing my circle wasn't closed. It's a good thing I want to continue to grow my professional relationships. You never know when you'll find a new friend.
As hard as you work at maintaining student relationships, don't forget about growing your adult relationships. Keep your circles open. You never know when that person you met over Twitter, or a blog or a conference, will become a friend.