Running into these students is always an important reminder of my role as an elementary teacher. I want my students to learn at that level that they have lots of choices about what to do with their lives. I want them to know what is possible and to find work that they love and live a life that they love. I want them to be happy. I am realistic enough to realize that most adults won't remember much about their elementary years. They'll remember a few highlights, certainly, but maybe not the day-to-day events of the school years. What they will remember is the feeling of being part of an elementary school and part of a classroom community. I want that feeling they remember to be one of joy and possibility. I want them to spend those formative years of their lives knowing that anything is possible and I want them to realize that learning and thinking with others is an amazing way to spend your time.
Seeing former students reminds me what it is that is important in my work with students. I am reminded that before I know it, these little children dressed in Osh Kosh and with missing front teeth,will be all grown up. This month, which is testing month for so many of us, is a great time for this reminder. Of course I want my students to pass these tests. But I want so much more for them than that.