In the last 24 hours I have had two wonderful reminders of why I stay on social media, in spite of the negatives.
Last night a former colleague reached out via Twitter messenger for some ideas for an after school activity he is going to lead, based on one I ran in the school we had worked in together, that I called Book Love. Reimagining the activity for his reality of being virtual for at least some of the sessions gave me a good challenge to think about last night. I had fun researching different ideas and was happy to be able to get back to him quickly. Of course we also had a chance for a bit of a quick catch up as a result. It was nice to hear from him and I appreciated that we could still share ideas more than 9,000 km apart.
This afternoon once I got home I checked Facebook and saw a message request from a name that looked like a shortened version of a former student. Clicking on it I learned I was correct. B. had been looking through some of her elementary mementos and reached out to share a picture of us together with me. B. had been in my third grade way back in 2003-2004. Immediately, before even looking at the picture there was this spunky 8 year old flashing before my eyes. She was a confident chatterbox, always eager to share her thinking and she had strong opinions. I learned she had recently completed her university degree (with honors) in philosophy and is headed to law school next. Do former students know what joy it brings to teachers’ hearts to get these messages?!
This weekend I was making lists as I contemplated my principal’s belief that we have to teach different grades to grow as teachers. I realized I have taught in 16 classrooms, in eight schools in seven countries, across different grade levels. So many small moments that make memories. I am so grateful for social media that allows me to keep some of those connections going.