“Teaching is a lonely business.” I’m sure we’ve all heard (and felt) this line. In many ways, it’s true. I sometimes felt alone when I was a classroom teacher. I often longed for more adult interaction, but I always had my grade level team. We planned together, ate lunch together, had conferences during the same week, and had many meetings together.
As a literacy coach, it’s different. I am the only person in the building who does the work I do. I don’t have a grade level team. I don’t have a scheduled lunch time (I usually just end up eating (far too quickly) at my desk while I check emails), and my schedule is different from everyone else in the building. My little office is tucked into the fifth grade hallway, and the two literacy support teachers (my teammates) have a space that is on the opposite side of the building! So I do feel lonely at times.
But today I was reminded of the incredible power of having like-minded colleagues. Today we had a district meeting of the five elementary literacy coaches and our fearless leader. We talked “hard” about literacy, about balancing test preparation (It’s that time of year!) with great literacy instruction, we planned ways to support teachers, we looked at books to support students, and we laughed, ate lunch (We still ate while we worked, but at least we are in the same room!), and celebrated some great work we are seeing in our buildings. It was a reminder of my need to find and spend time with my team. When I get lonely next time, I’m going to push myself to remember what today felt like. That should keep me going until our next meeting.