Goodbyes are never easy, and this one is no different. We have worked for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project for a decade and change. Our work there has shaped us into the educators we are today – it incubated us when we were new to this work, molded us when we faced challenges, mentored us when we needed guidance. We have been raised by this organization, and now it is time for us to leave.
Our life is changing and we need to move, and so we say goodbye to a stunning group of mentors, colleagues and staff. We say goodbye to Lucy Calkins, who in many ways has created the conditions for our entire life – she employed us and taught us; we met while working with her; she supported our family building. She is far more than a boss and we are eternally grateful to her. We say goodbye to Kathleen Tolan, who has tough-loved and coached us into much better versions of ourselves. We say goodbye to Mary Ehrenworth, our middle school muse, who has inspired and cheered us on over the years. We say goodbye to Laurie Pessah, who has helped over and over again to make this job work for a growing family, who has understood our needs and tried to meet them while juggling about forty million other needs. We say goodbye to Amanda Hartman, who has inspired us greatly with her passion for life, travel, teaching and friendship.
And we say goodbye to our colleagues and friends – too many to mention here of course. You will hear this refrain from anyone who has left the Project: it is the most hardworking, generous group of people around. From 3am panicked emails that are answered in minutes, to hilarious memes and year-long jokes texted across the day, to deep friendships that have grown over the years, we will miss the consistent brilliance and support and humor that comes from being a member of team TCRWP.
This is not a goodbye on the bridge of a ship venturing off into the unknown. We hope it is more like college kids heading off for their first semester away from home. We will be gone, we are headed off into a new chapter of our lives, but we are still very much connected. And we hope to come home every once in awhile for a good home cooked meal.
More announcements to follow, more changes are afoot. But for now, we give everyone at the Reading and Writing Project a big old bear hug and a full, hearty thank you.
Kate and Maggie