My forever friend, Nicole (mae) came to Florida for the weekend with her kids to see her sister, parents, and to swim with the manatees. Today on her drive back to SC, we met for a late lunch. Actually, she and the kids ate. We just hung out since we were at Marble Slab having ginormous ice cream when she texted that they were interested in stopping.
mae (short for maestra) and I became friends when she was a brand new teacher and we were at Gallman Elementary in Newberry. The first years we worked together was magical. We were the early tech integrators at the school. That’s where “mae” and “min” come from. They were screen names! Our Windows 3.1 machines could barely access the Internet. We used ICQ to stay in touch throughout the day and IRC all evening when we were home. We did road trips, shared secrets, learned to build websites, and even lost weight together. We also made differences in the lives of kids by working together so closely. Along with Barbara and Tarsha, and a few other teachers, we formed a strong PLN. It was really my first. It was small, but powerful. We learned from each other. At the time, I could not have imagined how my personal learning network would grow so substantially that even out of the classroom now longer than I was in it, I am not completely disconnected.
I loved spending time with mae today. Many years, sometimes what seems like a lifetime, have come between us. Many miles too. She will always be my friend though and a reminder of what good teaching is.