Peanut Butter is great on a sandwich.
Mustard is also great on a sandwich.
But on the same sandwich?
Not a good combination.
In my years as a teacher, consultant, and mother, I’ve discovered that teacher-student relationships are very much like sandwiches…
Sometimes, we have peanut butter and jelly years…The student’s personality fits well with the teacher’s temperament. They complement one another. The student thrives, and the teacher shines. Meaningful learning takes place.
And sometimes, we have peanut butter and mustard years…The student and the teacher, both fine, worthy people, each with unique talents and interests, just don’t make a great pairing. Learning still happens, but it’s not as palatable or pleasant.
Those peanut butter and mustard years can be really hard…especially when some people you know are talking about how fabulous the teacher is, and what a great year their kids are having.
It’s also difficult when someone says, “OH…your child has Mrs. Jelly? That’s too bad. We had the WORST year with her…”
And then it’s a delightful surprise when Mrs. Jelly is just exactly what your little peanut needs…and you have a fabulous year.
Of course, there are those rare times when a combination can be toxic, and the sandwich needs to be quickly remade to prevent illness. Those times call for wisdom, discernment and proactive communication.
Usually, though, we can tolerate a peanut butter and mustard year, by focusing on what is good and fortifying, and just learning to swallow (or throw out) the rest.
It’s important to remember that nothing is bad about either peanut butter OR mustard…It’s just that together, they’re not a great combination. Peanut Butter and Mustard are both unique creations…valuable and versatile and worthy.
Wishing you lots of peanut butter and jelly years, along with the ability to swallow–and grow from–a bite of peanut butter and mustard now and then.