I thought I’d take a quick phone call but…”I was going to send you an email but I really want you to hear this from me. This is important to me.”
The lady on the phone was a former student who was in one of my classes of fifth graders at Edison School when I first started teaching in 1970. She is now the grandmother of one of my current students and is raising her granddaughter. We talked for about fifteen minutes, or she talked and I listened mostly.
“You know that has had some issues. When we brought her to you she was in third grade and struggling with second grade math and reading. I wanted to enroll her in a local private school but she could not meet their entrance requirements. We had you work with her twice a week and she began making progress. By the end of that summer, she was ready for that private school. She has continued improving and is now in the fifth grade. She is serving as Captain of the Knowledge Bowl Team, a position usually reserved for sixth graders! I believe we owe this all to you!”
“She has been abandoned by many of the important people in her life. Her father died three years ago. Her mother is not involved much. She knows she can count on you though. You are so much more than a teacher to her. You have changed her life. I know you were supposed to be a teacher and I’m thankful you are still teaching. She will probably be your student as long as you will have her.”