On why I become friends with former students

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Every once in a while, I will get the strangest looks when I tell someone, "I'm meeting up with a former student tonight for coffee!" They look at me like I've lost my mind. Why would I stay in that close of contact with former students? And why would I ever call these students friends? 

Because, my former students ROCK! 

Over the years, I've watched my former students successfully navigate the rigors of college, the workforce, and some of life's biggest obstacles. They've started (hopefully) long careers as teachers, PR reps, journalists, and more. They've sent me emails when they were having good days and bad. Some of them even attended my wedding and babysat all the kiddos we had there. 

I feel lucky to work with such fantastic, positive, smart, wonderful, kind, beautiful people. And while those adjectives are also fitting for my coworkers, I see all of these things in my students too. I feel blessed to have a job where people go from students to former students to friends. And I feel even more lucky that former students want to count me as one of theirs. 

I've been blessed to be invited to college graduations, weddings, and 21st birthday parties (to be fair, those I passed on). To me, there's nothing better than seeing someone I knew as an 18-year-old grow into an amazing adult. Knowing I had even an iota to do with that is an overwhelming honor. 

Whether my friends are 51 or 21 or any other age, I'm thrilled to watch their lives progress. I love that I get to know what happens to these kids after they walk out of my classroom. 

Now, if I could just get them to call me Angela. :) 


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