Every year that I have been teaching, I have always talked up the importance of going to school, working hard and going to college. Additionally, I ask my students to invite me to their high school and college graduations. I have been teaching for 14 years now and not once have I had a student take me up on that until this year.
E was in the first class that I taught in public school. He was a stocky little guy, good kid, a bit shy and timid. He was a hard working student academically and had a good foundation at home to keep him straight.
I haven't seen E in years. 10, to be exact. During Open House, a few weeks ago, he popped in to say hi. He looked great! He is in great shape, is well spoken, seems very self assured and happy. He asked how I was doing and also asked about my daughter. E shared his after high school plans with me. He will be attending UC Merced and then hopes to transfer to Cal in two years. I was so excited for him and I gave him a great big hug.
E came by with his parents. They thanked me for helping him the year that he was with me. They also thanked me for helping them to work with him. They knew very little English and were not sure if they would be able to give him the support that he needed. E is living proof that they could and that they did.
Then came the best surprise of all. E and his parents asked me if I would come to his high school graduation. YAY! I got a bit weepy and of course said "YES!"
Friday night is the last day of school. On the last day of school I like to run home and begin my long vacation right away. This year, I will hold out for a few hours. I will stay in town and proudly watch one of my former students make his walk across the stage to receive his diploma. I am so proud of him.
I don't think anything can top this except, of course, if he invites me to his college graduation!