Today was an “I need caffeine to function” kind of day. So, I stopped by Starbucks to pick up a chai. After I ordered I heard from the back, “she is not paying for that!” A student who graduated about four years ago smiled at my look of confusion. This young woman was never in a class of mine, but I talked to her. She would stop by my class with friends and I would offer a hello or I would see her in the hall and I would ask her how her day was going. She was not always a model student and she was often involved in everyday high school drama, but the thing that stands out the most to me is the fact that she always answered my questions about her day genuinely.
It was nice to see her and a free drink was a fun way to start my day, but what I really took away from my Starbucks run this morning is that teachers truly affect students. And not just our own, but any student we come in contact with. We can be the element that brightens their day or the cloud hanging over their already difficult adolescence. And we are remembered after they leave the school building.