My Student Friends
If you think back to your school days you will remember some remarkable teachers that will always be with you. I am still in touch with my high school photography teacher. I still quote an accounting professor I once had and I still reflect on lessons I learned and stories I heard in Modern Asian History.
All these years later I find myself teaching classes and I find that at least one student in every class stays in touch with me long after the class is over. I have been teaching my annual class for nearly ten years and I am still in touch with students from the first session I ever had. Some keep me posted on their progress and some send photos of their families and tell me how their lives are going. Some call me when problems develop and I talk them off the ledge.
I look forward to these relationships. I make sure all students have my email address and phone number. It is gratifying to know that what I’m saying is actually meaningful to the students and that they are committed enough to stick with it and don’t fear to ask for further advice.
I recently did a class and as I lectured I scanned the room and wondered who it would be this time. There was one student there that attended my class twice before and she was one that I’ve stayed in touch with, so there had to be someone else. No one seemed to stand out. When the class was over I had several individuals come up and thank me and ask additional questions, but when everyone had gone there was one remaining woman. She told me she had questions but was too shy to ask them when class was in session. We sat down and chatted for nearly an hour and have since been in email contact.
With spring quickly coming on I’m sure I’ll be hearing from at least one member of each class I taught. Bring it on.