worthwhile connections

I have never been one for super sappy, “this is what makes it worth it” stories about education, but I must admit there is something extremely powerful, gripping, and satisfying when a student reaches out to you on their own accord in order to maintain a connection, after they are no longer under your care.  My wife recently received a crisp envelope mailed to PS277 from a student she taught five years ago (This was also the year we met….I figure why not make this post ultra cheesy).  This student wrote to my wife about how he loves to learn, but it has been hard because he has lived in homeless shelters and moved around a great deal since leaving her classroom.  He wrote that throughout it all he has protected this envelope (addressed by my wife and given to the students along with a book that matched their tastes) inside the book that she gave him, and he always dreamed of writing her a letter when he finally found a steady place to live so that there would be a return address.  My wife was having a horrible day when she received this letter, but needless to say when she came home and told me what happened she said “this is what makes it worth it”.

I also, recently was contact by a former student, and while this was just a senior who had graduated last year, and she was just describing how freshman year is going, and it was just an email not a hand written letter, it really did make it “worth it”.