Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oops, I almost forgot...

...to share this little story. Last Saturday night, my sister and I went to see some friends of mine (RICO) play at a local bar. Well, after having a great time hanging out with friends and dancing our behinds off, we were talking to one of the security guys, who just so happened to go to high school with my sister. After we said our good-byes, we started to walk out of the room. The most adorable young man leaned toward me as we walked by, and I hear, "Excuse me, but is your last name L?" As soon as he said it, I looked at that cute little face and recognized it, but I wasn't 100% sure from where. A half a second later it hit me. "PLEASE don't tell me you were one of my students!" Sure enough, even as he was saying his name, it all came flooding back to me, and said his name with him. Good Lord!! Do you know how bizarre it is to be at a bar with one of your former students? He was surprised, and I think a little touched, that I actually remembered him. I told him I was surprised that he would even remember me (especially because I haven't worked at that school in 11 years, and he was in the last class I had) and he says, "Of course! You were always my favorite teacher!" So sweet!!

Anyone who teaches knows all the little "teacher quotes" that get printed everywhere (i.e. To teach is to touch a life forever) and this little reunion really confirms it for me. I remember every teacher I've ever had, from kindergarten to graduate school, but I thought that was just me. (You know, being a nerd and all!) But, now I see maybe it's not just me. This is going to make me re-examine my teaching, and the kind of impact I want to make on my students. I've always been blessed with students who come back to see me year after year, telling me I was always their favorite teacher and so on. But, I never really stopped to think about the actual impact I may have had on their lives. I just always assumed they were coming because I was still there (not so common in the Hell-Hole) and I always enjoyed their visits. Let's face it, it's definitely a stroke for the ego to hear those nice things about yourself. But, now I'm thinking, happily, those things may actually be true! Maybe I have had a positive impact on their lives. At least I hope so, as that's what I've dedicated my life to doing.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ---Henry Brooks Adams

1 comment:

Christina Shaver said...

That's a great story! I'm sure you have major influence on kids's lives as their teacher. I can tell you every one I liked and every one I loathed and pretty much all the ones in between.