And then she told me about her 3rd grade teacher who recently saw her and said, "Hello, Samantha!" Samantha was surprised that she would remember her name nearly two decades later. I'm rotten at remembering names. It's why I always told my students to stick out their hand for a handshake and say, "Hi, I'm ... " whenever they see me in the future. I told them that would allow me to relax and enjoy our conversation without searching my brain for their name.
This encounter with Samantha on Saturday led me to think about my ongoing attempts to declutter my teaching files. Yes, I know I retired five years ago. This task is ongoing and long overdue. I started in the Language Arts drawer, but soon realized that the Social Studies files would be easier to part with. I loved teaching both subjects, but literacy is where my heart is.
Many of the files were of project-based learning and while it was easy to part with the stacks of informational pages, the hardest task was parting with student samples. Names on papers circled in my head before landing in the bin. I felt somewhat like Miss Nancy on Romper Room. Only instead of looking in the magic mirror, I was looking in the recycle bin. Here are just a few of the names I can recall from sample papers I recycled! "I see Abbie, and Jeremy, and Priya, and Joshua. And there's Namya, and Nick, and Kylie, and Aaron. I see Rachel, and Charles, and Lauren, and Shawn. And there's Max, and Samy, and Collin, and Kajal. I see Nora, and Issac, and Homa, and Mariam. And there is Michi, and Brendan, and Margaret, and Dylan and Linh."
I'd better stop before I make you listen to all 500+ names of my former students. I'm rotten at remembering names, but their 6th grade faces are forever imprinted on my heart which makes throwing their papers in the recycle bin a bit easier.
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