I was just out walking the dog, when I heard a person behind me: “Oh my gosh! Miss Dunsiger. Is that you?” I turned around. I saw a businessman doing some sales in the area. He looked in his early twenties. I didn’t recognize the face, but I knew that I would recognize the name if he gave it to me … and he did.
Wow! This was a student that I taught almost 10 years ago now. He challenged me in many ways, but also made me grow — possibly the most as an educator — thanks to those challenges. I ran into his parents pre-COVID, and they updated me a bit on how he was doing. Now I got the longer version, as my dog ran around his feet and begged for a belly rub. 🙂 This former student was honestly just so thrilled to see me again and to update me on his life and family. He said he was actually talking about me to his parents not that long ago, so he was excited to tell them that he ran into me.
This had me stop and pause. It’s actually what caused me to come home, open up my computer, and blog. As I mentioned before, he was not always the easiest student to teach, but I was determined to connect with him … as I did with my other students. Yes, I made mistakes. But as he excitedly asked me for a hug out on the road today, I kept thinking about these questions:
- How will kids remember you?
- Be in five years, ten years, or many more years down the line, will they stop you to say, “hello?”
- Will they share their lives and stories with you?
- And will they believe that you care?
Twenty-two years into the game, I really hope that more stop me as this former student did. As educators, we have the opportunity to make a positive impact on so many lives. And sometimes, if we’re lucky, down the road, we’ll hear that we did just that. March Break can’t get much more wonderful than this!