Slice of Life Challenge Day 2: Once a Lovey, Always a Lovey

I’ve been teaching a while. Twenty-seven years, in fact. And when you’ve been teaching twenty-seven years, and you keep up with some of your former students, there’s something amazing that happens.

You get to see them grow up.

You get to see them step into their lives, into the world as adults and selves in their own right.

I’ve long said that kids are presents we get to keep opening. And I think I’m right.

I think about the idea from time to time, but it really hit home for me when one of my former students, who just got her doctorate, posted the scientific article she just got published – as first author.

There’s a doctor. A teacher. An event planner. A member of a band. A painter. An interviewer of celebrities. An actor. An aspiring diplomat. A corporate officer. A photographer. A mechanical engineer. A stuntwoman.

And parents. So many of them are parents, and I get to watch, and smile, and listen to my heart crackle as I see how they are working to raise beautiful, wondrous and wonder-filled humans.

I’m good with words, but I can’t express how grateful I am that I knew all of these people when they were still little, and they were just learning about who they were and what they had to contribute to this big wide world.

And my current loveys? Where will they be in five years? In ten? In twenty?

I guess I’ll just have to keep unwrapping.

See this baby blanket? My kiddos made it for my younger son, who’s now 18. Some of them are parents now…

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

15 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 2: Once a Lovey, Always a Lovey

    1. Thank you! I love the blanket too. It also makes me smile to see my super-strong athletic sporty guy still lovin’ that blanket, too. Guess he’s got a mushy center after all, no matter how hard the candy coating =))

  1. I feel the same way about my students. One just wrote to me recently to tell me about how college is going and his current internship. It was really a gift to know I got/get to be a little part of these people’s journeys.

    1. Oh, those messages we get are wonderful. I love those out-of-the-blue “Hi there” contacts from former students. A gift, indeed.

  2. It is wonderful to watch our students grow and become who they are destined to be. I am always humbled when former students approach me and talk with me about their time in my class. Usually I have to ask them to remind me who they are since in their adulthood they don’t look anything like the sixth graders I had in class.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. It’s humbling to think that we’re just even a small part of so many folks’ lives. And like you, I also need a reminder sometimes. Especially when I’m going back to second or third grade!

  3. 27 years! That’s quite a while and I’m right there with you. I am stealing that phrase about presents we get to keep unwrapping. I have to distinct pleasure of working in a PK-12 school and there’s always a handful of students I get to see march all the way through and it remains a source of pure amazement to see where those kids go and what kinds of adults they become. I now teach a few children of previous students and it humbles me immensely.

    1. Steal away! I have yet to find a phrase that captures it as accurately as that one does. And like you, I am in a position where I get to see a kid grow, up close and over time. What an incredible gift THAT is.

  4. Oh, this is so beautiful. And every word of the truth. I didn’t teach little-littles. I taught high school and taught adult learners, but getting to see and know my former students always pleases me every time, even all these many years since I stopped teaching. We stay connected on FB, see each other on the train or in the supermarket. Getting to see all the people they’ve become is wonderful.

    1. That connection. It IS wonderful, isn’t it? Just having those folks out there and in the world, knowing that they’re adding their own unique talents and experiences – it’s amazing. It truly is.

  5. Such wonderful sentiment – this hits all the feels. That is a very disperse and lovely mix of what you helped bring forth into this world. I love it and especially that beautiful blanket.In this throwaway world seeing something so lovingly handcrafted survive the years is wonderful.

    1. Thank you! That blanket definitely brings a smile to my face. I look at each of the squares and am reminded of this kid, who was obsessed with his favorite sweatshirt. Or that kid, who memorized the sign language version of the “Dream” speech I had hanging in the bathroom. Each square, each kid – a separate story, a separate life. It’s amazing to me.

  6. You made me sit back & think about several of my former students. My first group are in their second year of college now. My first group of 4th graders are in 8th grade now. We as teachers truly have Peter Pan quality to our profession.

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