The summer is here. I definitely miss teaching but I am reminded of my experiences several times per week. It seems that no matter where I go I always run into at least one of my students on every visit. Having taught almost every level at 14 of the Counties Schools, I figure there must have been thousands of kids that had me as a substitute sometime between December and June.
It is so heartfelt to receive smiles from kids. They are so excited to see me and thankfully their memories are all GOOD ones. The other day I was at Aldi’s in Charles Town and an Elementary aged girl was with her mother. She was not in a happy mood and had tears in her eyes. That was until she saw me walking towards her and her mom in the aisle and all of a sudden she brightened up and gave me a big smile. I of course gave her one back. We did not speak to each other. I felt so good I had the ability to change her mood for the better.
Most of the time the kids are with their parents, at least the younger ones. At times the kids introduce me to their parents who are always friendly. Some times it is just a nod and recognition in a parking lot or across a restaurant sitting area.
I imagine when I return to teaching next year (not really since it is in Mid-August) there will be times when I will be able to share an “I saw you too” with my students.
If I ever wondered what the real reward for teaching was during the year, I am receiving rewards over and over during the summer.