Then and Now

I was invited to a high school hockey game by one of my former preschoolers.  Lucky me, and what a special treat.  She’s on the team.  It turns out that the hockey team has many more of my preschoolers.

Look at those big smiles! What a reunion, and what a fuss we made.  I may have behaved like a crazy lady at the hockey rink greeting these wonderful kids.  When I stopped to look at the audience – the parents of these children, and plenty of other parents and kids – I saw the faces looking at me.  There were nods and smiles, words of understanding, and almost wishfulness.  Connecting a preschool teacher with a group of her children years later (children to me, not students) is something you don’t see every day.

Bianca invited me.  Thank you!  She is on the far right.  She is as lovely and outgoing today as she was years ago.

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Left to right in the hockey photo is Will (who I always affectionately called Will-Will), Neil (quiet, kind, smart), Bryson (Mr. Outgoing), and Bianca. Below is Liam (ever-busy and funny).  A class photo from 2005 includes most of these children:

Bianca is sitting on my lap.  Bryson is on the bottom row, third from the right.  Liam is beside Bryson in the green shirt.  Neil’s sister is top row in white.  Will’s brother is wearing #95 on the top row.

I love these children.  I teach from the heart, and look what happens: my preschoolers become young adults with a positive sense of self, and goodness for others.  And, they invite me to a hockey game!  They remember.

Jennie

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, history, Kindness, Love, self esteem, Student alumni, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Then and Now

  1. beetleypete says:

    What a complete joy to see this, Jennie. Yet more evidence of how the love of those children for you continues into later life. You really couldn’t wish for a better legacy, I’m sure.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Darlene says:

    How special. When you treat young folks right, it comes back to you. They never forget.

  3. Your wonderful posts always make my heart smile, Jennie. xo

  4. Brenda says:

    I’ve been a substitute teacher for many years in my community. It’s truly amazing to see the students mature and grow. It gives you a new perspective as a teacher. I taught some of this year’s grade 11 students back when they were in Kindergarten while I was in a replacement position. When I see them now, I can still remember them from when they were just starting school. They’re still fantastic students. 🙂

  5. How wonderful, Jennie, to have a reunion like this with children from your previous classes.

  6. Ritu says:

    This is so precious Jennie! The effect you have had on their lives means they’ll never forget you 💜

  7. What a heartwarming post, Jennie. You should be very proud. (I can tell you are)

  8. What a joy it is to have children come back to say hello. And to invite you to their hockey game is extra special! I’m not at all surprised, though, Jennie, that these kids remember you and their experiences in preschool with such fondness. It’s all because of you… – Susan

  9. Long live crazy ladies! Such joy – and those ‘kids’ still have engaging facial expressions, ya know?

  10. Luanne says:

    You are such a treasure, Jennie!

  11. mitchteemley says:

    What a joy to walk in the forest of trees you watered and trimmed as saplings!

    • Jennie says:

      Woah! Mitch, I am blown away at your kind and deep-feeling words. Thank you! I am writing down your words on a post-it note and putting it on my computer screen. Really. It will go beside my Hans Christian Anderson quote and Einstein quote. Thank you so much. And yes, it is a great joy. I realize and appreciate my blessings. Best to you, Mitch.

  12. Lovely post, Jennie! You have such a positive impact on so many lives. Of course, your students want to reconnect and spend time with you! 🙂

  13. Norah says:

    How wonderful to connect with these young people and find the love that still grows, from its beginning in preschool. I so agree – they have always been my children too – never liked using that word ‘student’ – child first and foremost!

  14. Again, I understand. My students all grown up, have run into me now with their children, or in a uniform-or tall and sporting a beard . . They often say “Do you remember when we read “Little Tree”? or “The Secret Garden”? oh how beautiful that is.

  15. reocochran says:

    Wow, Jennie! You are a rock star to these young adults. You are and always were a beacon of love and hope. Thank you for sharing this. It is wonderful indeed to know you touched other’s lives. Moving and changing names, my students only have their yearbooks and class photos. I am not on Facebook, etc. I was invited to sit at the parents’ table at a wedding of one of my babysitting kids two summers ago! Mick told everyone I “raised” him. 💕

    • Jennie says:

      What a great story about Mick! Thanks for your kind words, Robin. I think you are a beacon of hope and love for me and so many others. I am happy and blessed that my children of long ago remember. Really. ❤️

  16. This warms my heart to hear and see that you are so well remembered by your students and that so many are still acquainted with one another. I’m sure it gives you the warm fuzzies as well. Have a wonderfilled week ahead with more memories in the making.

  17. Dan Antion says:

    That must have been a wonderful feeling. You know you’ve made a difference in their lives.

  18. swamiyesudas says:

    Hello, Jennie! Good to read all this. It warms the heart to do that. Kudos, Love and Regards. 🙂

  19. swamiyesudas says:

    PS: Glad to see the pictures of the Children, even the grown up ones. And particularly happy to see YOU! 🙂

  20. Your connection to your ‘children’ years later is simply wonderful!

  21. ren says:

    How VERY rewarding. Bless you, Jennie.

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