Today, as I was dropping off TB at his fancy pants orchestra rehearsal, I saw one of my former students. Naturally I extended my arm out the driver’s side window to wave as I hollered his name. He was surprised to see me, but I wasn’t at all surprised to see him at the Community Music School. He was a world-class musician when he was a high school freshman, and as a few years have passed since then, I can only imagine how much he has honed his talent.
We spoke for a few minutes as we blocked the flow of drop-off traffic, and then we went our separate ways. That encounter was the highlight of my day and brought back a flood of wonderful memories.
Those of you who regularly read my blog most likely know, at least in part, why I stopped teaching high school. Many people who don’t read my blog, however, ask me if the kids got to be too much for me. While a lot of things got to be too much for me, it was never my students. I loved them; they served as daily bright spots in my overworked life.
I had this student’s particular class the last period of the day when all of us felt tired and frazzled. While that could have made for daily drudgery, instead it made for daily mirth (and I’ll be honest, occasional mayhem as well). Of course every moment of every class period wasn’t fun, but overall, we had a good time together.
And I equally enjoyed my other classes. I have a sneaking feeling that many of them enjoyed our time together as well. That year, I taught all freshman, so all of my classes read Romeo and Juliet, and I think that served as just about everyone’s favorite; I know it was one of my favorites. I’ve said many times, If you haven’t taught Romeo and Juliet to a bunch of 14 and 15 year olds, you really haven’t lived.
Romeo and Juliet wasn’t our only bright spot. I remember the day my last period class discovered I write a blog. They all looked it up and confronted me the next day with what they found. Meanwhile, their discovery got me the most views I’ve ever had in one day, and the record still stands.
I often think about my short time teaching high school. I think about my students, whom I miss something fierce, even still, And I marvel at what a profound impact my time teaching high school has had on my life.