For the majority of the fifteen years I've taught at my wonderful school I have been lucky enough to spend at least part of my day co-teaching. During that time I've co-taught with at least a dozen different people (some years I co-taught with more than one person at different points of the day). I have learned from all of them.
This year my administration partnered me up with someone new. She's not new to our school but I have never co-taught with her. She is due to have a baby any day now and today should be her last day for this year. Unfortunately I had to be out of school today. I'm sorry to have missed the last day we had as a team, at least for this year.
She has a lovely long-term substitute with whom I will work for the rest of the year. That will be fine. I will learn from her and we'll have a great time with the kiddos.
But I'm sad to lose my current partner. She has more experience with first graders than I do and has a wealth of wonderful ideas.
Even more, though, I will miss her calm, quiet nature. I listen to hear talk to the students and am reminded of how I want to sound. I watch her facial expressions and body language and try to mimic it. She has a gentle way with children that I envy.
I wish her a wonderful maternity leave with her precious baby. I truly do. At the same time, I hope I will have another opportunity to try and soak up the way she interactions with children and continue to learn how to do a better job of it.