The Power of an Educator

Last night Richard and I were out for date night. We’d had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant called The Basil Leaf. The food is very good, filling and not too expensive. It is almost always crowded, so expect a little bit of a wait when you arrive.

Afterwards, we headed over to ABQ Uptown for a little dessert. I was wanting some of Frost’s sea salt caramel gelato. Another place to check out if you’ve not ever been. It is the best place in town to get gelato.

While waiting in line, we ran into a parent from my days as principal at Chamiza ES. She had been a very involved parent who helped the school a lot as a PTA member. Her daughter was also with her. It is always surprising to see a former student who has basically grown up after not seeing him or her for several years.

As the universe will often do, that wasn’t my only surprise of the evening. When it was our turn to order, a young lady helped us. While she was getting our gelato, she asked if I had ever taught first grade, which usually means to an educator, start trying to figure out how you know this student. If you teach middle or high school, this may be an easier task. However, when you teach K/1, they change so much, it can be quite the workout for one’s synapsis to remember who this child may be.

It turned out to be a student who was in my first class at Double Eagle. She was all grown up now and heading to school in Pennsylvania today. And, she was happy to see me.

I now of no other profession where someone you met and worked with for only 10 months, and not seen for a very long time (12 years in this case), will still remember you with a smile on their face and excitement in their voice.

If you are an educator, never forget the impact you can have on a child. They will remember you, and if you are like me, I’d rather they remember me fondly. For me, that means I did my job in having a welcoming and loving classroom, and they know I truly cared about them. They are my kids forever, even if I only knew them for that one school year.

Oh, and I did remember her name.

Jenny, thanks for making my evening and bringing back fond memories of my own!

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