Reality Check: Friendship is generated with opportunity, common interests, and communication between two people. Seems obvious. Obviously, you met your BFF because your lives crossed paths along the way and you made an emotional connection. Over time, you can probably say you love your BFF. You deeply care about each other, respect each other, and support each other through happy, sad, frustrating, and joyous times.
The first part of making a friend is the opportunity. We are all capable of making friends with other people. To think that we are destined to have the friends we do, is a stretch. However, without the opportunity in which you met this friend, there is zero chance you would have connected and nourished your friendship.
What if you went to a different school growing up? You would have had different students in your classes and likely made different friends. The opportunities you had would be different and likely have different social connections.
Growing up, my school friends did not live in my town. I went to a religious day school a few towns over and did not see kids from my neighborhood during the day. The kids I went to school with lived across several different towns, which made developing friendships harder because we did not have the same sports teams or personal activities to see each other at. The kids that I did play sports with, mostly had the same classes in school. The friends I had at school knew that I struggled with reading and using expressive language. The friends I had at sports only knew me as a strong player who was always at practice and at every game. The friends I had at school had to help me more than I was able to help them because my skills were limited. The friends I had at sports knew me as a reliable team member. When I was at school, I often walked away feeling unsuccessful and insecure. When I was at the sports field, I could walk away feeling successful and confident. I lived in two different worlds through the opportunities I was given.
The friends I made at sports knew the better side of me because I was happier, more social, and felt like I had the skills I needed to contribute to my team. Feeling capable, independent, and accepted made me want to show up to practice and games because I was motivated. These opportunities were more than developing technical skills, but to establish friendships with like-minded peers. We were all there because we had a mutual love for sports and I loved it.
I thought about this for years. As a teacher, you see students who thrive in certain areas and struggle in other areas of schooling. Best practice for me to work with struggling students is to make sure that the learning is fun; to make sure the content is interesting and that students are excited to learn. My Special Education background has given me the opportunity to become an excellent teacher. Special Education is more than working with students with special needs. Special Education means specialized education. SIMPLY: highly-skilled and proficient in delivering tailored instruction to meet the needs of all students.
Teaching is much more fun for me if the students want to be there. The first way to make that happen, is to offer opportunities that meet the interests of my students. Maybe you’ll fall in love with the resistance of swimming? Or fall in love with the visual stimulation of skiing and snowboarding? Or maybe fall in love with the thrill of highs with rock climbing?
Maybe your love for how you spend your time, may just bring you another friend. Someone who enjoys the same activities. Someone who had an opportunity to do something fun. Someone who had the privilege of meeting you along the way. Long lasting love and friendship are only possible when the right opportunities are aligned and bring people together as a result over common interests through a mutual understanding for communication and respect. Starting with the right opportunity every time is key.
With Love and Friendship,