Running into my old teacher was such a weird experience. I say that it was weird because, here I am, 38 years old and I am still in awe of this woman. It was like I was a teen-ager all over again. In my eyes, she just couldn’t do too much wrong. She really was a nice teacher. I remember that she was very even tempered and that she made chemistry fun.
It’s been 24 hours since I’ve seen her and I still have one of the feel good feelings. Even though I thought that my teen-age years were horrible, I see that they really weren’t. Seeing Ms. Duenas made me remember that.
I have spent all day thinking about Ms. Duenas and what she meant to me. After I spent time thinking about what she meant to me, I took the time to stop and reflect on what I will someday mean to my students.
What will I do, 23 years from now, when I see one of them? Will it be a joyous occasion? A tearful reunion? Or will it be an accusatory one? Will they say that I was a horrible teacher to them? Or will they say that I was the one who made them think? Was I the one who made them wake up and realize that they can do it? Will they remember that I came to school sick so they wouldn’t think that I abandoned them? Will they think about how I went out of my way to make sure no one teased them?
Or will they only remember the bad days I had when I snapped at them? Will they remember that I sometimes nodded off when I was tutoring them one on one afterschool because I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. preparing the lesson after getting out of class at 10:00 p.m. the night before?
I don’t know what they will remember. I hope that they will recall the good times we had as we laughed at the silly little nicknames I gave them like “Piggy”, “Pink Socks”, “busybody”, “nosy Rosy”, etc. I hope they remember that I loved them; that I stuck up for them and believed in them when no one else them; that I tamed the shrew.
It’s okay if they remember the bad days. Bad days happens. As long as they remember the good times too! Even though there have been many bad days, All of my good days, they outweigh my bad days. And IIIIIIII… I won’t complain!