After I “friended” Allison's mother Donna, with whom I worked in Glenview School District #34, Allison also found me on Facebook. Allison holds the honor of being the second only former student with whom I am now in contact. Until now, Rose, with whom I was reunited a dozen or so years ago was the only student I still keep in touch with. Once in a while I would run into a student while out and around in Evanston or Glenview, a few memories would be exchanged, and that would be all.
Those experiences were always gratifying because I mostly have not kept in touch with my students. My belief had always been that as the “mother bird” I helped my students learn how to fly and when the school year was over, I would send them out of the nest to discover their next journey. I did not encourage their returning for visits and we did not exchange addresses. I think that my unspoken feelings were somehow communicated and for the longest time I never heard from any of my students.
Now with my teaching days so far behind me, and being "old," I can use some thanks for, reminders of, closure to those days. I found that hearing from Allison was very important to me. Sitting with her and listening to her memories of being in my class, hearing stories about what I was like as a teacher and about how I affected her adult life were very moving for me.
Visiting with Hadley, who is now the same age that Allison was when she was in my classroom, was wonderful. Where have the years gone? How amazing that I got to visit with the next generation of the children I taught. I think that in some ways that was a right of passage for me as well.
These photos were taken by Matt.
Hadley, Allison, Michael
Hadley checking out some of the collections.
Hadley helping Matt through the "Smaller Door."
Michael & Allison posing in front of the Peek-A-Boo Mini Book Collection Cabinet.
Hadley helping Matt through the "Museum Mouse Door."
Michael and Allison admiring the 1"x1" hardback hand bound book that Allison made some 27 years ago in a book binding workshop that Michael taught in Glenview. It is now part of the permanent collections at Chicago Children's Museum.