Today, there was a basketball game at school and it was my current students against my former students. I have randomly run into two of my former students earlier in the year, but today, I saw 6 of my former students. Even though they are the same age as my current students, it amazes me how much older they look compared to what I remember them being. They wanted to joke around, and they brought up some of the sillier moments of my first year teaching, and also reminded me of some of the mistakes that I made. Thankfully, students don't really realize those too much! I had a really good group of students last year, and they reminded me of the good times I had. They, of course, asked me which school I like better (since I switched from the tiny, sister campus to the main one), and told me that they missed my jokes. They have changed so much already, one commented on his lack of a girlfriend, then proceeded to ask me my age and phone number.
My former students have had a very challenging year. Last year, one of the students had cancer, and left halfway through the year to get treatment. This year, another student got kidnapped for 5 1/2 weeks, and then the principal of the school got shot. When I asked them how everything was going, they said it was good, and that everyone is okay. They all have a really good spirit around them and look towards the positive side.
As another year ends, I wonder how often my current students will look back and remember me. My students from last year, from talking to other teachers, talk about me often and generally with good will. I am looking forward to the move that Jesse and I will be taking in a few short months and returning to 5th grade, but I will remember my fifth grade class very fondly, and hope that someday, I'll have a class like them again. They were a really good group of students for a first year teacher to have.