I have lots a acquaintances, but a true friend is a treasue! Laurel is one of the few acquaintances I have that I would consider a true friend.
In the 1980s, I was teaching at Farrer Jr. High School in Provo, Utah. Bruce Evans and I had been the mainstays in the science department, and he finished his counseling degree and moved over to Provo High School. Thils left an opening in our science department. Bruce and I had worked closely together to devlop curriculum, and we were using teaching techniques which, in later years, became quite common among successful master teachers. The dilema was to find a qualified science teacher that I could work with to continue the teaching that has come to be known as science inquiry.
A couple of years prior to his leaving, Bruce and I shared a student teacher who had just finished her teaching degree and certification, and she understood the work we were developing and inplementing into a new state science core curriculum. Her background was geology, and she had worked as a geologist for a Tennessee nuclear company. But the trick was to try to locate Laurel Iverson.
Along with other interviewing applicants, Laurel was located in Casper, Wyoming working as a geologist for Gulf Oil Company and she agreed to come to Provo for an interview. Her interview was scheduled for the Friday prior to school starting on the following Monday. Before she left from her interview, she was offered the position of eighth grade science teacher and my counterpart to replace Bruce Evans.
She accepted the position, and moved her belongings from Wyoming to Utah over the weekend, and began her teaching career as school started that following Monday.
She and I worked together as colleagues, developed curriculum, and developed a friendship such that we could share anything with the trust that some information could be held in confidence. During the time we taught together, Laurel met a young man by the name of Robin Lyman, and they were subsequently engaged and married. About this same time, my sweetheart (my wife) was diagnosed with leukemia and Laurel and I shared in both triumph and tragedy.
After we had planned lessons and taught together for some fifteen or sixteen years, a new middle school opened in Provo--Centennial Middle School. This was during the centennial year of Utah becoming a state (1996). That spring, as decisions were being made, Laurel asked if I was going to stay at Farrer, or was I going to Centennial? I had decided to try for the new school. Her response, "If you are going, I'm going, too!"
We planned, taught, and developed curriculum together for the next seven years together. It was interesting that, without communicating details of what we were doing, our collaboration produced the two ends of the project at hand, over and over again. My mind was wired the opposite of hers, and she would develop part of the project, and I would develop part of the project, and we almost never overlapped. The results were always each of our parts being a separate part of the whole.
I first noticed this when I wrote my disclosure statement on year, and using the same grading system, I would always list the scoring category from low number to high. For example, 90%-100% was an A grade. Laurel always listed her scores from high to low, i.e, 100%-90% was an A grade. From this time on, we kidded each other that our minds were exact mirrors to each other. It was pretty amazing!
When I retired from Provo School District in 2005, Laurel was very concerned, because we had laways done our teaching and planning together. I remember that she remarked one day, "What am I going to do?" Am I going to be able to continue teaching? Now, seven years later, we are still friends, even though we teach in different school districts, and both of us have been able to teach and develop curriculum without the other. Both of us have had our struggles--more so because of the way we could rely on each other, which both of us missed.
She has had a great deal of tragedy in those seven years, and I have been blessed to use the friendship we developed to advantage in sharing and collaborating with other teachers as we have gone our separate wasy, but our friendship remains.
It's always good to have a friend . Especially one you can work with and trust your inner thoughts and tragedies to . They say " two heads are better than one"
Outstanding Golden. I think she would love to read this story. Maybe you could send her the url link and invite her to join us. It would be fascinating to see the two of you recalling the various projects you developed and maybe some interesting tales along the way. Awesome!!