One of my favorite pieces to being a teacher is hearing from students after they graduate from high school. I let them initiate the communication. With a select few, friendships are formed. And with others I may receive an email or have a random sighting in a bar. However, no matter who it is, I love learning how their lives have unfolded over the years. It kills them that I won't add them to my facebook, though.
Over the past few years, my favorites (from the class of 2006) have kept me updated on college life, turned 21, started marriages and with college graduations this past week, they are about to embark on careers. Some will be business men, high school teachers, stay at home moms, will travel until they feel forced to settle down, or will flounder until they find their path. But each are learning who they are supposed to become and it is such a joy to watch.
Several of my students have had the opportunity to travel overseas with college programs. I wish I had had that chance in college! Although, I'm not so sure I would have had the confidence 20 years ago to take off and explore another country (let alone eat the food!). Of course, I worry about these kiddos but I figure if their parents let them go, I probably don't have much of a say whether or not they can go. For example, Right now, Nate is in Thailand. Bryan leaves for China this summer. And Mikie is living in Chile with her husband and newborn son. I can remember when each were students in my class and now, they are adults and living full lives.
Being a teacher rocks.