Sunday, April 3, 2011

Running into a Former Student

With all the attacks on teachers, there are times when even I begin to question things I did as a teacher. Did I really put children first? Or was I just acting like a selfish adult?

I was at Long Island University on Friday in downtown Brooklyn to tape two former charter school parents for a final segment to our movie. We were waiting in the lobby for Leonie Haimson who was doing the interview. She was a little late. And I was glad she was. A woman was walking by and said, "Mr. Scott?" I looked at her. "It's Milagros," she said.

The minute she said her name I recognized her but wasn't sure from which year (they all run together now.) "You were in my 6th grade class, right?" "5th and 6th," she said. Poor girl, suffering me for two years. Yes, it came back quickly. I only moved up with a class twice. This was the '77 and '78 class. She must be in her 40's. Oy!

I had two great years with them, especially the 2nd year when there was no need to spend a month on routines. We really got rolling from the first day back.

And she was a pleasure to have in class. She told me she still lives in the old neighborhood. I had run into Milagros when she brought her young son to our school in the 90's. "Don't you have a son," I asked? "He's 22 now."Double Oy! "And I have an eleven year old too. I've been trying to find you on Facebook," she said. I gave her my card. "Oh," I asked as she started to walk away, "what are you doing here?" "I work in the library." YES! One after another as I run into former students I find they have jobs and careers. We weren't total failures as the ed deformers would have the world believe.

She started to walk away again, turned and came back, semi-whispering: "You were my favorite teacher."

Milagros, you made my day, week, month and maybe year. And best of all – she recognized me.

While I'm bragging: Here is a comment from another former student from the class of '82. This was the same 4th grade class that Ernie Silva, the actor, was in. I wrote a review of his one man show on Feb. 27 where I made the point that the role of teachers are overrated by the ed deformers (with evil intent) and Diane P. saw it on Facebook and left this comment on the blog:

Mr. Scott,
This review brought me to tears. As our fourth grade teacher (yes, we are all about 39 now YIKES) you were probably THE most influential teacher we had. Your grace and love for each of us still lives in our hearts today. It's ok to take pride in all our successes... you are a piece in our past that shaped our future! Thank you from your 39 year-old student.

Diane P.
class of 81-82
Of course in today's ed deform world, what's love got to do with it?
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