A former student of one of my colleagues came by today, he is eighteen years old and has recently suffered a serious family tragedy. Out of respect for his privacy I will not mention his name nor the nature of the calamity, only to say that it pains me even now to think on what he has gone through and will continue to endure with the passage of time.
However, it is not to the issue of this misfortune that I wish to consider (in these self-important musings of mine) but the fact that when this young man suffered as he has, one of the first people he sought out was a former teacher of his… a teacher he hasn`t seen in several years. That when he was brought low by devastation and was vulnerable in despair, he went to this former teacher for guidance and consolation.
What a powerful and humbling representation of the power and influence that a teacher can wield upon the young people under their care!
In the dark quiet of this evening, after replaying the events of this afternoon in my mind and thinking on how I might avail myself to this young man that I have only just met, my thoughts turned towards my own professional aspirations…
…that I too wish for my former students to still think of me as someone they can continue to trust and depend upon, even after the passage of years. I would have my students to always know that I am always prepared to be there for them, in whatever way I am so capable.