As I was walking into the local farm supply store on my way to look for some galvanized tubs to make into sensory activity centers in my classroom, someone yelled my name. I turned and there was my ex-assistant and one of my truly favorite people in the world. She works for the agency I recently walked away from with no regrets and was full of stories about the doings there from her point of view which is always kind and a little bewildered. She is wise enough not to go too deeply into the mess of it all. I worked with her 6 years ago with a difficult class.
“I have an easy class this year,” she said smiling, “finally.”
I pointed out that it was our class that started her run of hard times. She remembered clearly. Talking with her made me realize I do miss working with an assistant. I have worked with a long string of assistant teachers who, due to the everyday nature of the job, became a part of my world and who I came to love, in a different way than any of my other relationships. They are all very different from each other, but the bond I felt with each of them was clear and honest as we struggled to bring authentic learning into the classroom with all of the obstacles that confront Head Start classrooms .