I didn't realize I wanted to be a teacher until my last semester of undergrad. By then, I had my English degree, but wanted some actual training as a teacher. I took my GRE and applied to one program, the only program that looked good to me...Proteach.
This is a program for teachers at the University of Florida. I spent ten months in Gainesville learning how to teach, actually teaching, and forming some of the tightest bonds I've ever made. It's true what they say about bonds forged in fire...because Proteach was definitely trial by fire, and the people I met definitely became my best friends.
That said, I got ONE photo in my time there of the work I had due at the end...everything else shows the great times we had together.
It all started out normally...our cohort was made of about 21 students focusing on getting our Masters of Education in English for grades 6-12.
|Early in the year, gathered around a photo of Dr. Pace, the head of our program.
But constant research starts to wear on you, and soon we found ourselves doing what most young adults do to relax...eating M&Ms and watching The Real Housewives on Bravo.
But we were teachers in training, which meant themed nights were a must:
|Our holiday party saw just one ugly sweater.
Teachers know how to get wild, you guys. Believe me.
|Our first real Proteach party.
|Then this happened. I have to say, men who become teachers are truly a special breed.
Sometimes we needed to get out...Luckily, Gainesville has quite a few places to choose from. The fun nearly drove us mad.
|Becca, Kim, PJ, and Kathleen enjoying Drag Night at UC.
|I believe in staging cute photos even in the sweatiest of conditions.
But then again, we are teachers. A little karaoke and game night is always a good way to unwind.
|We became known as the Ambiguously Awesome Trio. 10 points if you get the reference.
|Jem and me belting out the tunes.
|Admittedly, I released a lot of my stress through ridiculous comic-drawing in class. Teachers make the worst students.
In the comic above, ghost-me sabotages ghost-Kim's chances of getting into Heaven by making her cuss in front of some Heavenly gatekeeper because she killed us on our way to our teaching placement by running into a road taco. Yes. This happened.
(We ate a LOT of Moe's and had many delirious post-workday conversations in the car. Can you tell?)
Still, we had to find time to fit in our work. Toward the end, we had multiple giant projects due. Being a good student/teacher means knowing how to stay organized. That, of course, means using post-it notes. Because calendars are for newbs.
|So many acronyms...
Eventually, the fun had to come to an end. Before we knew it, we were graduating.
|We staged a banquet for our professors, complete with skits, poems, and speeches. And lots of sorority poses.
|My "OMG WE'RE GRADUATING" face.
|We almost look like we're ready to be professionals.
|The cohort on the last day. We made it!
We split off to different parts of the US, but the kind of friendships you make under pressure aren't easily forgotten. We've gotten together quite a few times to celebrate weddings...and to celebrate our love of our favorite pastimes.
|Kathleen, me, and Emily at Laura's wedding.
|...and Becca, Kim, and Chrissy made it to mine.
|We even made a special road trip to visit Chrissy and meet Bethanny from the Real Housewives. That show got us through some tough times!
I always know I can depend on these men and women for insights into teaching, a good laugh, and some butt-kicking if I need it.
What are your best school memories?
Do you keep in touch with your college/grad school friends?