Last spring I received an email from a former student. I saw him last 20 years ago when I was his third grade teacher. I remembered him! (Thank You, Jesus. Because wouldn't it be embarrassing to admit that you didn't remember a former student?) And in his email he was telling me that I was one of his best teachers mainly because of the writing teaching that I did. Made my day. So, I emailed him back. In a surprising turn of events I discovered that he has gone back to school to become a school librarian and he was surprised to discover that was what I do. I told him if I could help him out, let me know.
Then I received an email this summer from my principal. Would I have a student teacher, named this former student. Well, yes. But, then I got to thinking. He is probably taller than I am these days. I doubt he is the curly haired bespeckled boy I recall, at all. And then there is me--20 years older, at the end of my career and not the bright young innovator I once was. So, now I am nervous. I hope that it works out. I have always wanted a student teacher.
I have been blessed to have received more than 2 contacts with former students who praised my teaching. I am sure that I am not the best teacher on the planet and others probably deserve more praise than I do, but it was nice to have received it. I would guess that if I had any impact it was because I always care for my kids. I always want to be at least as good a teacher as I would want my own kid to have. I try to remember that I belong to Christ and to bring that love with me. I don't always succeed, but I always try.
And I will end this by saying--if you had a really good teacher or your kids had one, a little note or letter, especially one after that teacher no longer has that student, is golden.