A Year of Gratitude #28: Michelle
Michelle and I met in December of 2006... she came to my classroom over at Childs (I was teaching 5th grade) to meet me because she was going to be doing her student teaching in my classroom. Michelle and I have another connection too though... we're both Alpha Gams from Zeta Alpha chapter (EMU).
I had heard her name before in the alumni newsletters, and Diana (another Alpha Gam that did some pre-student teaching with me) was good friends with Michelle. While I had never met Michelle in person, I knew her name, and when Anne Kloack came to me with Michelle's folder... I thought it'd be weird to have her in my classroom with our sorority connection.
Thankfully, Anne didn't think it'd be a problem, and I ended up having the best semester with Michelle in my room.
As a cooperating teacher (what I was called having a student teacher in my classroom), it's hard to have someone new come into your room and take over. If the personalities don't "gel" it can be a REALLY long 16 weeks together. Not all student teachers make it through their program... in fact, my very first student teacher was asked to leave my classroom after being with me for a mere two weeks. I'm thankful that she is not in a classroom because she was not cut out for teaching. I did the world a favor by removing that one.
I digress... when Michelle came into my classroom, she already had a job (the same one she still has here in GA). I was very hesitant to have her in my room because I was afraid that she wouldn't give much effort or try to learn anything because she already had a job lined up.
I had a lot of fun with Michelle in my room, my kids loved her, and I trusted her early on to take the reins. This was not an easy thing to do. In fact, when you student teach, taking over is the scariest thing because you literally are teaching for the first time in your life. It's not the same as teaching a lesson one time a week to a random class for pre-student teaching. When you student teach, you're there every single day... ALL DAY. So when it's time to take over, you literally take over everything and it's scary.
It's also the biggest rush! For most, when you first take over and realize that you CAN do it... it's like a confirmation that it's what you want to do with the rest of your life. I can't quite explain it. Just know, when I handed over my classroom to Michelle, I trusted that she'd do a great job, and she did.
It helped that I felt really comfortable with her, and I viewed her as a friend. The AGD connection bonded us in a way that was unlike the bond I had with previous student teachers. With Michelle, we saw each other outside of teaching... and our personal lives intertwined.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of me and Michelle while she was student teaching with me:
At her graduation party
Revolutionary War lesson
Detroit Tigers Game with my 5th graders
At our overnight field trip at Howell Nature Center
While we were at HNC, I got the call from Steve that he was offered the job at Burt's Bees. I had not told anyone else about him even interviewing, but I did tell Michelle. I was so excited to leave Michigan and head to North Carolina!
Well... now we're here in Georgia and Michelle lives about 45 minutes away. While it's not as close as I'd like, it's a lot closer than 12 hours!! I'm so thankful to have her close enough where I can see her, and can reconnect with her.
Michelle is a funny person. She literally makes me laugh. I love her attitude about things and while it's so vastly different from mine (I'm the rule follower remember???), I appreciate her for being as laid-back and casual about things as she is.
She's pregnant... 36 weeks actually. If you ask her about labor and delivery, she'll say she doesn't really care. She just wants a baby. If you ask if she wants a boy or a girl (they aren't finding out until the baby arrives)... she'll say that she doesn't care. She's funny about it.
I was able to take some pictures of her when she came over for dinner last weekend... here are some of my favorites:
Hopefully, the next time I see her will be soon... and it'll be while she's in labor and ready to, as she says, "Pop that baby out." I told her, "You know they don't just pop out right??? There's a lot of pushing involved..." and her reply was, "Yeah... I guess."
I'm so thankful to be closer to her, and to have the chance to reconnect. I'm also thankful that she'll be having her baby soon and then I'll finally be able to meet her husband!! :-)