Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hello Again

The most amazing thing has just happened to me. I'm not really sure why I feel compelled to write a post about this especially since the few followers I had don't read this blog anymore. Which, let's be honest, is completely my fault. I suppose I'm compelled to write this down so I can remember this feeling for as long as I can and access it whenever I want.

I was having dinner with one of my co-workers. She's a ton of fun and I can't wait to do it again. (Thanks Maria!!!!) Let me say that it must've been fate or something that I even answered my phone. If I don't know the number I usually let it go to voice mail. See, back in 2006 I moved home from San Antonio. I currently still have my SA number. When I get a call from an unknown SA number I assume it's the wrong number. Yet, this time I answered. One, because one of my students this year moved to SA earlier this year and I thought there was a chance it was his family. Two, I answered because "something" made me. The voice on the other line came from someone much older than my student. (I teach second grade :)) He asked if I knew who it was and of course I didn't. He went on to say that it was D, a student that I had 7 years ago in fifth grade while I taught in San Antonio. As stated in the post that I linked to this one, D left a lasting impression in my life.

Naturally, as educators we aspire to inspire everyone of our students. But not often does the student inspire us. I was lucky enough to have had this happen my second year of teaching. I kept in touch with D for the rest of my time in SA. Taking him to movies and dinner. He even helped me move into my last apartment. I was his unofficial "Big Brother". As D got older, he needed me less and less, and found other great and positive teachers that helped him. Finally, I moved home and D and I kept in touch through an occasional email here and there.

I have to admit that when I realized it was D I internally cheered like a little girl. Here was this student that had changed me and my teaching 7 years ago. He went on to mention that he was graduating this year. He told me all about school, picking a college, his girlfriend and family. And then it happened...that amazing moment. He finally said what he had wanted to say. His reason for calling. With the help of one of his teachers he tracked down my old co-worker/best friend/"sister" and was able to get my contact information. He said he wanted to send me pictures. Pictures of important events in his life. He also mentioned something I had completely forgotten. He said he had my contact information in a journal I gave him back in fifth grade that he had kept until just recently. (He thinks his girlfriend misplaced it.) But it was what he said next that moved me to tears. Tears that have kept streaming down my face for the last hour and half. He said that he wanted to find that journal because it meant a lot to him. So much that he never wrote in it. All that is written is the page I wrote on where I had dedicated the journal to him. Can you believe that I didn't remember that? But the emotion behind his voice when he said he was sad he couldn't find it made me lose it. I told him how much I appreciated that and how proud of him I was.

There are so many things that I can share about D that will help you all understand how incredible this student was. But in the end, what matters is that I know. And now, you all know a little bit more.

I am just about to end my 10th year of teaching. I've had tough classes, demanding students, and emotionally draining work environments. But to me, all of that is worth the struggle when you hear from a student like D. I can only pray that every teacher have his or her D sometime in their career. It's the most amazing feeling!!!!


Jen said...

Oh Patty how wonderful! You should totally send him another journal!! He can begin to write in it as he begins the next stage in his life! I hope one day to have a "D" come back to let me know how much I mean to them!!

So glad you posted again! You have been missed! Oh and thanks for the comment on my blog even if you don't like Matthew!! Hahaha!!

barbs said...

here i was bored and blogg jumping. i just happened upon your blog and have to tell you what an amazing story you shared. i've always wanted to find my 5th grade teacher and let her know how much i really appreciated her. it's too late now since i'm old as dirt and she may no longer be around. have a great day!

A Woman's Diary said...

very interesting story! I had so many teachers I liked and never had the courage to tell them how much they meant!

Franco said...

Great story. I grew up in a small town and didn't appreciate the teachers until later. Luckly, 15 years later I moved back to the little town and made it a point to thank all those that had helped me.


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