This afternoon, I stayed after school for a few minutes to finish grading a quiz from today.
There was a knock at the door, and a kid entered. It took me a moment to figure out that I knew the kid--one of my students from my first year!
Little C was one of the 'troublesome' boys in my biggest, worst class that year. He was a kid who wasn't much for bs, and who was smart enough but usually distracted or not caring enough to do much. I always tried to encourage him to do better because he had so much potential. A month or two into the year, Little C and Tall N and another kid would stay in my room at lunch to help clean up and hang out.
Little C and Little K were buddies and twin pains in my ass, but they were actually pretty good kids. They were annoying and mischievous at times, but in innocent, goofy ways; they weren't malicious like some of the other boys in that class. They're the ones that I once kept at lunch to lecture, and I got about halfway through, when one of the boys interrupted me. The other one shushed him, saying "She's trying to give us a lecture!" I had to turn around and stifle a laugh.
What I'm saying is that I tried to hide it, but I actually liked both of them and it turned out they liked me too. Little K's dad told me at conferences that I was one of Little K's favorite teachers! This was November of my first year, when I really and truly sucked.
Anyway, so Little C came to say hi today! He was a little taller, wearing a hoodie and black hipster glasses. He didn't say too much, but he seemed glad enough to see me. Gave me a hug and stuff. He's in one of the special tech high schools now.
This is the first time someone has come back to see me! It's especially gratifying because of the horrors of that year, and I was always upset that I wasn't doing better, that I wasn't able to help the kids more.
But I think I did right by Little C. He didn't end up getting great grades, but he seemed to understand the need for doing the right thing. I'm definitely proud of him!