This year I was once again able to carry on one of my favorite classroom traditions: inviting former students to talk to my current students. Through social media, I reached out to all of my former students and asked if any of them would be interested in participating, and I was thrilled at the response! Some were unable to attend in person, and others volunteered to attend virtually.
I asked each interested alum for a preferred time and date, and from there, I set up a schedule for the first five days of class. I made sure that each class featured one or two alumni at the beginning and end of the period.
During class, once the scheduled alumni arrived, I introduced each of them: when they graduated high school, where they went to college, and what they are doing now. Because I have been teaching at my current school for 16 years, the alumni ranged from those who were just starting college to those who had finished law school or medical school and had been working in their chosen profession for a number of years.
After the alumni for each session were introduced, I invited the students to ask questions about anything: finishing high school, applying to college, what college is like, and so on. My current students impressed me with their questions, particularly how specific they were. Equally impressive were the responses given by the alumni, who truly wanted to give the sound advice they wished they’d received while approaching the end of high school.
Overall, this was one of the most successful “first five days” I’ve had since I started this tradition. And personally, it was a thrill for me to see my former students again and see how much they’ve grown since high school. I’m so proud of all of them!
Even though this whole process involved weeks of organization and preparation, I am extremely pleased with the end result, and I am so thankful to my former students who jumped at the chance to help out, and did so purely out of the goodness of their hearts. I’m so fortunate to have had them in my class, and even luckier now to have them as friends.
Thank you to Nikhil K., Akhila G., Ruben M., Clint B., Ritika P., Nils C., Dev T., Daniel C., Vishal S., Alley M., Murt N., Joanne J., Derek J., Dev C., Shivam L., Nicki M., Mateen A., Ryan I., Mihiro S., Celeste W., Holden B., Pranay S., Apurva G., Jordan W., Maggie T., Danielle P., Sahana R., Laila K., Maria L., Yue T., Saman H., Jess G., Sai P., Tony F., Maxwell R., Kevin C., Mo P., Ronak I., Rohin B., Shreya C., Neha L., Afrah S., Jonathan L., Alyssa R., Tanmay K., Dylan S., Vik K., Boxie Z., and Nivedya V.
Today was my younger son’s 5th Grade Graduation ceremony. These are the clothes he picked. I’ve never been more proud.