A couple of days ago I was perusing facebook and saw a photo posted by the Mom of one of my former students. Evidently she held a get together with a bunch of other kids with special needs and their parents. One of the Moms contacted me to let me know how big my former students have gotten.
I commented back to her and then there was some friendly back and forthing about why I had not been invited (:)), who I needed to visit, who had me first, yadda, yadda.
I enjoyed seeing the picture and being included in the dialogue. I was talking about this with my husband and realized that as much as I love these children, one of the things I have not thought much about is how much I enjoy their parents. None of them are the same, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, some have family support, some don't. Some of them I talked to almost every single day, some I rarely spoke to,except during IEP times. I am not a very outgoing individual, but by teaching and caring about their children, I feel connected to their worlds.
I teach for selfish reasons, I enjoy it. Another professional I recently told me that I was too attached to my former students. I disagree. Even teaching preschool, I am responsible for my students four hours a day, five days a week. I teach them many of the same things we all teach our children, communication, socialization, emotional and daily living skills. How do you teach well without caring and when do you cut that off?
I wish I could post their picture, but that is not my right. Instead I will include a picture of my poor doggie, Oz. He went to the vet expecting the best (he loves people and other dogs) and got 4 shots for his trouble :(.