Gracie thinks that Wendy lives in my computer! She will often come along, climb onto my lap and ask if she can see “the Wendy”.
In an earlier post I mentioned that I juggle work and family and this means that I often work of a night time, so that I can spend time with Grace though the day while Harry is at school. What often happens while she is playing outside or with her toys, is I will grab a cup of coffee and Skype Wendy – it is one of my favourite things to do as it makes me feel connected to a colleague (who I now consider a friend). Obviously we discuss all things Children’s Literature but we have also been known to have a chat about many other things as well. Wendy is often the person I complain with, laugh with, offload to and generally get up to shenanigans with. I may be breaking a rule here but we even have a theme song, Eye of the tiger, we sing it before web conferences! However, we are also respectful of one another’s needs and our relationship is professional.
I also have Sharon, who I consider to be my mentor. For the past ten years Sharon has guided me professionally and I trust her judgement immensely. Technically, Sharon is my boss, my supervisor as well but she is also more than that – she gives me confidence. She knows exactly how I work, when to push me and when I need a bit of time out.
For my entire time in schools I had many mentors and friends. People who guided me, who gave constructive feedback, who I laughed and cried with, and who provided many mischievous adventures. Different people fulfilled different roles.
For some of you, this is your last unit at University – congratulations! My biggest piece of advice is to find a mentor within your school. Respect and accept advice from others as you are learning – actually, you will always be learning!