Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

Last week on social media I encountered a former student of mine from three years ago.  I didn't remember him.

I keep PDF's of my grades, and have for about 5 years now.  Today I went through the lists of names of students in my classes from the last few years.  I can't believe how many of them whose faces I cannot bring to mind, and how many whose names I just don't remember.  I've never been very good at names, but this is ridiculous.

I have 12 more years to teach before I can afford to retire.  I worry that my mind won't make it that far.

6 comments:

MikeAT said...

A few months ago I emailed out of the blue an English teacher from my high school. She retired in the mid 2000s and I noticed her from an article on the Civil Air Patrol. We really got along well, she hugged me at graduation and when I mentioned my name...she had no idea who I was. But she was a teacher for 30 years. Assuming 100 new faces a year, that's over 3000 students. So, cut yourself a little slack. And is you can't, remember the great thing about Alzheimers, you meet new people every day!

Darren said...

Only 100? How about 175!

MikeAT said...

Darren, she had five classes (30-35 each) but she taught multiple grades. I had her for both 10 and 12 grade English and she sponsored the Science Fiction Club, so she had multiple "duplicate" kids over the year, so I just took a SWAG at the number of new students a year. Suffice to say, a lot of names and faces to remember.

Darren said...

Mike, *I* don't even know who you are! :-)

Anonymous said...


Story time: My wife taught third grade for 12 years, so that's 300 or so kids.
She quit sixteen years ago. Even today she will spot some dude who is six feet two with a beard, and say, "That's Jimmy soandso. He was in my class in 1995." How does she do that? Not only that she remembers his parents names and that he had an older sister named Mary. So I'm maried to someone who occasionally scares the hell out of me.
Richard

MikeAT said...

Well, it's been over 26 years since we met....