This is my seventh post for the 9x9x25 Challenge.

This evening while I was waiting at the airport to board my plane to Toronto for TESS 2018, I ran into one of my former students. I taught her when she was in high school and knew she was destined for great things – she is bright, positive, driven, and headstrong. When she told me that she just started working on her Masters degree in Psychology at OISE, I felt a beaming sense of pride for her!

My chance encounter with her got me thinking about all of my former students that I’ve run into over the years. One of my former students – one who didn’t think he would ever attend college – completed college! The week he graduated, he tracked me down to tell me that my encouragement during his high school career was what lead him to apply and go to college. He was so excited to tell me that he’d be accepted to university to continue his studies!

Another one of my former students – a young teenage mother of two – completed her college degree and went onto study gerontology at university while raising her two children. I even ended up playing volleyball in a rec league with a couple of my former students (students I used to coach on the volleyball team!). When I’d miss a play, they’d joke that I should have to do suicide runs, like they did when I coached them.

It was hard to write ‘former’ students in the preceding paragraphs because I still consider them my students, especially the ones I had every year of their high school career in my classroom. I feel the same sense of pride with the students that graduated high school and now work full time or the students who left high school to pursue their own dreams in other avenues — school isn’t for everyone.

As a teacher, I strive to give my students what they need to be successful when they leave — no matter what future path they take. I, especially, love seeing my students soar!

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