I received a letter in the mail the other day from the mother of a former student of mine. Contained in the letter was a touching note from the mother and a graduation announcement and an invitation to attend her sons graduation. Now, I’ve been in this field for awhile and have seen a great many things. But this year I get to witness something new. Yes, this year one of my former students, whom I taught in first through fourth grades in an EBD classroom, will graduate from high school. Back in those days we had so many ups, downs, lefts, rights, forwards, and backwards moments. We had many long days with laughs, cries, questions, arguments, blood, sweat, tears, hugs, and handshakes (all in one day). We also held many meetings with many of the same behaviors (without the blood). He was one of those students that you sit back and wonder “what is he going to be like 10 years from now”?
Today he looks forward to going to college and training to become a veterinary technician (he’s always had a love for animals). I could not feel more proud for him and his family. Through it all I could not help but to be inspired by witnessing this family do everything in their power to help their son succeed.
Eleven years ago I never considered that I’d stay around long enough to see former students graduate. But I am certainly glad that I did. Being able to play a small part in this student’s road to success is definitely something I will always treasure. It is a reminder that just because you do not see the immediate effects of your teaching, you can always still have hope for even your most difficult students.