One of my most inspirational colleagues is also one of my best friends, with whom I collaborated during the first four years of my teaching career. Although we are no longer teaching partners, we continue to bounce ideas off of one another and remain grateful for the synergy we continue to share. A gifted writer and a creative old soul, this special person has been meeting me for coffee every Friday afternoon for the past four years, a ritual that has become a weekly institution.
Professionally, she is a role model for all who see her in action. Like many teachers, she works ridiculous hours. Nonetheless, she manages to take on one leadership challenge after another, while remaining passionate about her students and teaching. Although she is incredibly busy, she somehow makes time for the people and hobbies that are important to her. She seems adept at balancing her private and professional responsibilities and interests.
Although she occasionally runs late, she is a woman of her word. She is reliable, creative, and driven. She works hard, because she loves what she does. She is never content with "good enough." She remembers peoples' names with seemingly little effort, and her students love her.
On a personal level, she is inspiring because she has also successfully changed the trajectory of her life. By taking her health into her own hands, increasing her physical activity, and changing her diet, she has managed to shed close to half of her body size.
I admire this colleague for her generous heart, her warmth, and her fierce loyalty.