Tomorrow I will spend time visiting with and drinking coffee with a former student. She was in one of the first classes I taught at Community14 years ago. She's popped into school on and off since then, and it's always been a pleasure getting caught up with her.
Tomorrow I suspect may be more of the same but with a twist. She's in the process of launching a new online business so I think talk may be centered around that. At least, I hope it is.
Yesterday a former student from a few years back stopped in to say hi. Brett was there picking up needed paper work for his college application. As we talked, the name of a friend of his who was a former student of mine came up. When I asked how Nick was doing, Brett beamed, telling me how much Nick loved school and his chosen field of study. He continued by telling me how much homework Nick does and how he loves it all.
Nick is a success story. He came to CHS clearly not that interested in school. Learning, yes, school, no.Seriously, he is one of the smartest kids I know. He let me challenge him with an AP style English class and wrote one of the best analysis papers I've ever read. Entering that paper into the Scholastic Art and Writing Award contests earned him honors at the state and national level.
He has a soft spot in my heart. Quiet and bored most of the time, my challenge was to dig deep and create a syllabus that would help him grow as a student. I think I did that. I hope I did.
Anyway, the point of this rambling post is this: what we do matters. It makes an impact on kids. They may not see the importance at the time, but eventually they'll see the power you bequeathed to them--the power of thinking critically, the power to question, and the power to be curious and grow.
I love seeing former students and do so fairly regularly. It's not unusual to have 4-5 kids stop in and say hello during the week. For me it's affirmation that I'm doing something right. And that something has made all the difference.