Being Real

Dear Amy,

You started at South a year after me and came with your two sons, one in college and one a freshman, ready for a new beginning.

I didn’t know you well until I became a Senior Team Lead and observed how quickly, efficiently, and with a few kind-yet-forceful words, you were able to make them line up to spill out variations of vocabulary, tell their research stories, be themselves.

I co-taught with you this year only to witness firsthand what a gift you have for being real.

Being real, Shubitz style:

“If you feel that the content of what we’re doing is just too much, please, take a moment in the hallway if you’re triggered.”

“You know, that kid is just so smart, and no one has ever given him credit for it.”

“I’m just going to sit at this desk in the hall with my cell and call all the kids’ parents whose children haven’t shown up for the final.”

“If I haven’t heard from you today, get ready, because I’ll be calling your name in a minute” (continues to call on every unraised hand).

“You better turn in that process work else I’m not grading it.” (There is no ‘or’ in Jersey speak).

“Let me tell you this story…” Story about Mom, the PE teacher, story about son struggling, story about hunters in Carbondale, story about life in front of you.

“Are you going to grade those papers?” (Five minutes after they’re already done because no one can beat Shubitz).

That curly hair, that slide with “Would You Rather…”, that sincerity. That’s Amy Shubitz. And there is no replacement for someone who isn’t afraid to say it like it is and still loves every moment she shares with her students.

It’s hard to find a cohort for being real. I found it in you, my mother-in-partnership, already-raised-her-kids, listens-to-every-last-woe-of-adolescence colleague.

And I will miss you more than you will ever know.

Thank you for keeping it, being it, saying it.

Everything. Real.

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