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10 January 2005: Just Next Door (2 of 3)
Really, the other teachers at my school are the only ones who know already the students Iím talking about or the tone from my principal. Theyíve experienced it for themselves. Together, we can build effective coping mechanisms. While I am so grateful for the teachers at my current site who provide this for me now, there is something about this relationship that just doesnít sit well with me. Itís the relationship by default that makes professional friendships awkward. Even when I had my own cubicle, before I became a teacher, I observed the strangeness of a friendship of convenience. The thing that makes it so powerful in teaching is that no one who is not a teacher can really understand what our days are like. And so, we end up with default friendships; people who teach next door or down the hall, who we maybe have very little in common with except for our work address. But on a daily basis, these friendships are invaluable. Though they may only exist between 8 and 4 or in the hallway during prep, these friendships are often what make the job bearable.