I tell my students and their families that I consider my students to be my students for life. Therefore, from time to time, I receive invitations to visit with former students from years ago (as well as e-mails, phone calls, TXTs and Facebook chats). Today I visited with a student who left my room sometime ago. I've written about this young lady before, she has multiple disabilities, including profound blindness and quadripledgia, and types Morse Code using head switches. We sat in the shade on the back porch of her group home and chatted about old times, her new found love of all things Obama (replacing or maybe more accurately adding to her former love of all things Celine Dion) and her recent experience at an over night camp for adults with disabilities.
I shared with her how I found myself telling a story about the time she went out for an ice cream and, in 100 degree heat, requested a staff member read her the list of more than 45 flavors. When the recitation was complete she asked for it to be repeated. After the second listing the staff member, dripping with sweat, asked her choice and she said, "Oh, I want vanilla." We all laughed at how angry the staff was with her for making the list be read twice only to choose the most boring possible flavor.
She shared with me how she is about to begin two correspondence courses through the Hadley School for the Blind one in French and one in Container Gardening. All the while she will continue with her work at her day placement and her frequent e-mails to President Obama to let him know her opinions about his work on healthcare and other issues.
Do you consider your students to be students for life? Do you keep in touch or leave the linds of communication open for them to keep in touch?