Thursday, October 1

The time for reconnecting is now, not later

Last night I learned that a former colleague, Jimmy Scherrer, passed away suddenly. Just about a month ago.

What's really, really strange is that I was just thinking about Jimmy last week, wondering how he was doing and thinking I was well overdue in reaching out to him. Now it's too late.

I first met Jimmy when he was teaching in LAUSD. He was an amazing math teacher and coach, getting kids engaged and listening. I got to work with him not only in creating some video for teachers to learn about his teaching strategies, but he helped write some content for at least one graduate course to help teachers learn to see not only math content differently, but to complete reimagine teaching math. I loved working with Jimmy.

We kept in touch sporadically. For a while we emailed regularly while he was working on his doctorate. I was, selfishly, hoping to work with him again because he was such a wonderful educational talent. But then he got really busy as he worked on his degree and dissertation, our communication fell off, and I just didn't reconnect even when I thought of him. I'd heard he finished and had moved to NC State; I'm not sure how I knew that. I kept thinking I should email him to congratulate him. Stuff got in the way, or I was lazy, or a combination of the two. Regardless, I failed to reach out so we did not reconnect.

Maybe that was how it was meant to be but I don't think so. I've learned that when people come to mind, it behooves me to shoot an email to say "Hey!" and let that person know I've been thinking about him or her. That's it. No agenda. Just "Hello!" and "I hope you're okay."

Well, NC State was lucky to have him. I feel fortunate to have known him. I know his students at NC State miss him and were moved by his passion for teaching and learning.

It is too late for me to reconnect with Jimmy. This is, however, a somber reminder that the moment to reconnect is the moment that person comes to mind. Not later because, well, there might not be a later.

As for Jimmy, rest in peace, my friend. You are missed.

No comments: