Why Your Middle School Teacher Doesn’t Remember Your Name

A few times a year I run into a former student, and I often hear the reproof, “Don’t you remember me, Mrs. Roberts?” Of course I remember you. Especially if you were a handful. But you still had a baby face, I was still taller than you, and your face no longer goes to the file in my brain with your name on it. My age does have something to do with it, but you don’t look the same. Especially if you ask me that question with a mouth full of chewing tobacco.

Oh, there are a few former students who traumatized me enough that I will never forget their entire name, but most of you are now men and women. You aren’t that little chubby-cheeked darling that was getting ready to grow a foot and needed help with proper punctuation. Often, I remember your name about 90 seconds after I drive away. Instead of asking if I remember your name, how about if I remember your wonderful imagination or your favorite excuse for not having your homework, or the funniest thing you ever said. I guarantee you that those files in my brain are easily retrieved. Being a teacher has one benefit that many other professions don’t. I get to see and hear how I had an impact on men and women years later.

So, if you see me in the grocery store, why not say, “Hey, Mrs. Roberts! I went to college. Thanks for the writing help because I surely needed it!”

You will make my day–even if I have to go look up your name in an old grade book. And I do look them up. It’s great to see the fruits of my labors, and it keeps me going when my little darlings forget their work for the umpteenth time this semester. Author Page 🙂

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