Teachers aren't supposed to have favorites but we do....we just try not to let the other kids know. During my last year in the library I got very close to one young lady in particular, Baylee. I've gotten close to students before and sometimes kept in touch for awhile. I was always at school so they knew where to find me when they needed me. Sometimes, John and I became friends with the parents of these former students so they remain a part of our lives. But when I decided to retire, I knew that keeping in touch with my favorites was going to be difficult.
That's when Skoob, the library mascot started his facebook page. (If you want to friend Skoob, his whole name is Skoob Binion. This served two purposes....teachers cannot friend students (not appropriate for them to know when I am going to the brewery) so this was a way for them to stay in touch with "me" and I used it to remind them of things that were going on at school....STARR testing, picture day, field day, etc.
Baylee and Skoob have messaged back and forth all summer. Sometimes I wonder if she thinks she is actually talking to Skoob but she is a GT kid so I hope not. As soon as school started, she began asking me to come to have lunch with her at school. I was worried that my showing up might damage her "street cred" but she assured me that she has enough of that to withstand anything dorky that I might do. So today I stopped at Taco Bell (her choice) to pick up her tacos and Dr. Pepper and signed in at the office. There I was sitting on the couches in the hallway alternating between feeling like I was waiting for my turn with the principal (It was Jeri's fault! I was just following her!) and like someone's grandmother. Classes changed and the first lunch kids started rushing (or sauntering...depending on the cool factor) to the cafeteria. Many of them just gave me that "who is that adult" look and moved on by. But then here came my babies...."Mrs D!! What are you doing here? Are you gonna work here? Who are you subbing for? I thought you retired!" Baylee showed up and we joined the throng toward the cafeteria. There was some debate over where to sit (and with whom) and who to save seats for. It was so much fun! I got caught up on the dramas of her life and some insight into middle school. (The cafeteria is LOUD!) And I actually got to go outside with them...apparently the first time that first lunch had been quiet enough to be allowed outside....that was quiet?
I caught up with several former students...favorites and not so favorites...was asked to deliver messages to former teachers and got hugs from some that I was sure hated me. It was a great experience.
It was great for my ego but I may have actually taught them something...that there are adults out there (besides relatives) that might really care about them and what happens to them after they leave elementary school. That if you invite these adults to attend something, they might actually show up. I can't wait for Baylee to ask me back. I also hope that her "street cred" is intact.