For the first time ever, I went grocery shopping with a friend today. My mum (@QuiltMiss18) said that she used to do that all the time ~ long, long ago when each family had only one car —- so everyone had to be creative. Nowadays, we each have our own car(s), so what led to my shopping with a friend today, you ask??? Great question!!
Mrs. Langmead and I have been friends for a long time. We have lots in common, and when we get together we have so much to talk about, we never seem to squeeze it all in! Over time, we have learned many things about friendship and collaboration.
1. Know when to separate.
Mrs. Langmead and I are awfully chatty. Put us in a room, and we have enough to talk about to last the live-long-day. That behavior doesn’t go over too well in a faculty meeting, so we have learned to sit apart during those events. Our faculty meetings provide us with important information, and because of that, we need to focus! Careful observers might notice us winking at each other during meetings, but otherwise, we are focused and attentive.
2. Trust one another.
I know this will come as a surprise to everyone…. Mrs. Langmead and I are NOT perfect!! WHAT!!!??? lol – We are always searching for ways to improve our teaching, and our health. It is rare to find someone I can share my shortcomings with, while feeling supported and respected. I know if I tell Mrs. Langmead I need to fix something, I can trust her to help me – not judge me. I always do the same for her. Mrs. Langmead makes me feel normal, and human, and accepted.
3. Hard work is easier with friends.
Mrs. Langmead and I decided to make a new commitment to our health this weekend. We had a new meal plan, and a grocery shopping list a mile long. We both knew this new adventure would be easier if we did it together so we chatted about our plan on Wednesday. On Saturday evening, Mrs. Langmead sent me a text message saying she was going to meet me to grocery shop together. I was thankful (and excited!) and giggling… Have any of you been to Market Basket on a Sunday morning? Wheeeeeee!!!! It takes a lot of patience and determination to do your family’s grocery trip during the same time that 90% of Cape Cod’s population does theirs.
Sunday morning arrived, and we each had our list. Mine was color-coded on paper, and hers was on her iPhone. We spent time learning the difference between coconut butter and coconut oil; between haddock and cod; between orange and yellow peppers; between zucchini and cucumbers (ha ha). We read labels. We texted our spouses. We consulted employees. We worked as a team to decide what we needed to purchase. We even went one step further and figured out what supplies we could purchase and divide equally between us.
4. We are still individuals.
With our baskets nearly full, we both realized there were items we needed to purchase for our families. I certainly wasn’t able to help her choose the best brand of diaper for her babies, and she wasn’t able to shop for those elusive Teenager Essentials. We knew it was the perfect time to head off in our own direction. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before we were back together again, making purchases to (in theory) change our eating habits.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why I am writing about Mrs. Langmead on our classroom blog. Am I right??
Well, it is now almost November, and I’m still looking to see my 303 students “jive” as cooperative learners. 4th graders need to recognize when it is a good idea to work together, and when separating is a better idea. Trust is an essential ingredient when it comes to cooking up cooperation. When help is needed, we look for others to to be trustworthy in order to assist us without judgement. Because each 4th grade student has his or her unique strengths and weaknesses, it is essential we match up with others to enhance learning.
So? 4th graders? Be helpful. Be trustworthy. Judge less. Help more. GET TO WORK!!! Together we can make a difference.
Mrs. Nickerson’s new class starts on Wednesday. She will have 17 fabulous friends, which will leave us with 22 students. We are all looking forward to supporting the shift in instruction! Thank you for your flexibility!!