One of the things that I was most sad about when I left my previous school at the end of last year was that I would lose connections to my beloved alumni students. In particular, the kids who are currently seniors in high school were a group with whom I had an extremely tight bond. I had taught them 6-8th grade and worked as Robotics coach with quite a few of them. I taught their siblings, worked with some of their moms, etc. Beginning in Kindergarten their parents worked to ensure that they had this crazy bond that continues to this day, despite them attending at least 5 different high schools. They were the class you dream about having and your life will always be better for the time you spent with them (even if they made you crazy every day!).
I was lucky that due to my close relationship with those kids that they would come often to visit. Sometimes it was just because they were picking up siblings, sometimes it was because they were meeting carpool at school, and sometimes because they were willing to spend part of their day off volunteering to help me grade papers, file, clean, etc. At Open House, my room was kind of the alum hang out spot. Leaving my school, I knew that these visits were by far the thing I would miss the most. Many days it was their hugs and their love that kept me going.
Last Thursday during the transition period when my 5th graders were coming to class, one of my girls said, “Ms. M I think you have some visitors in the office. I heard them say your name when I was walking by.” I had the biggest smile because I had a feeling I knew who it was. My friend (one of the moms) had texted the previous day asking what the name of my new school was. So after my kiddos trailed in, so too did these 2 special seniors. It made me so happy to see them. I got my kids started doing some review with task cards, which they had been begging to do. One of the boys jumped in and started doing task cards with the kids. After awhile I let the kids “interview” the boys, and then they went back to class and it was lunchtime. Mason, TJ, and I caught up on their siblings, families, 8th grade classmates, college status, etc. They stayed throughout lunchtime just chatting. It was the best. These guys mean the world to me and I am SO proud of the young men they have become. But selfishly, knowing how far they drove, that they woke up early, took one of their precious vacation days, and hung out for nearly 2 hours in a school where they knew no one really touched my heart. While I know I probably didn’t really teach them anything in our time together, knowing that they would plan this day shows me that even though I’m not part of their immediate world anymore, that I can still be part of their life. I know these guys are ones I will never forget, and maybe this was a little glimpse that they won’t forget me, either 🙂
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