Right before I went to sleep last night I checked my e-mail. It contained a couple of useless e-mails from companies trying to get me to by their wares as well as an e-mail from one of my former students. I quickly deleted the marketing pitches and went right to this student’s email. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from her, though I know, from e-mailing with her mom, that she graduated from middle school on the honor roll and was accepted to one of the best public high schools in Manhattan. As I prepare to write back to her today, I ask myself, is there any kind of wisdom I can share with her as she begins her high school journey?
This morning, I discovered an op-ed piece in The New York Times entitled “Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend.” (Even though the title was catchy, I must admit that I read Maureen Dowd’s column first. What can I say? I’m a Dowd fan.) I went back to “Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend” soon thereafter and was greeted with a smattering of advice for college freshmen about how to get the most out of the college experience. Some of the advice was surprising, while some was so good that it inspired me to write my own, unique and honest words of wisdom back to my former student as she embarks on her high school journey.
We see our students less and less as they get older and move on (especially those of us who don’t teach in the same states anymore). However, there’s a reason former students keep in touch with us. We can still act as their teachers, even as they grow up, by sharing our pearls of wisdom with them. After all, maybe that’s what they’re looking for when they reach out to us.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.