“am i your favorite student?”

During tutoring today, one of my students asked me where he ranked out of all my students. 

“I mean, I’ve gotta be in the top three, right?”

I laughed and told him to finish his work, but it was cause for reflection.  After five years and roughly 100 students per year, you would think I would forget many of them.  Not a chance.

This week I’ve had several encounters that have given me reason to celebrate my experiences as an educator.  An unsolicited thank you message, a cap-and-gown picture of a former student getting ready to graduate, and a post on Facebook from one former student about to graduate from college with honors.  I am exceedingly proud of every single one of my students, and as I surveyed their accomplishments I couldn’t help but think, “I did that”.  (ok not really, but I helped.)

As I reminisced with one former student online, she commented that, “it seems like just yesterday when I was in your class defending a case…and I won!”  It was something I had completely forgotten, but I instantly teared up knowing that she remembered.  Years later, she remembers my class.  For all the complaining we do in the teaching community about numbers and reports of success, graduation season is one time when I don’t mind being measured.