13. The one student who spoke up
During my first year teaching 7/8 graders, I had an Indian student who was smart, but quiet. I told her parents that I'd like her to talk up more. The father leaned across the table and told me not to get involved with such things.
Now, fifteen years later, she is a doctor at a prestigious hospital. I'll bet she learned to speak up very quickly.
14. Wondering about some students …
I haven't been teaching long enough to see them as adults though I often wonder how some of them will turn out.
I had one kid who used to not talk to anybody. He would whisper to himself about how he is going to kill his parents when he is older.
Then I had another one who was absolutely brilliant! Absolute prodigy! But his parents refused to let him touch a science book. It was Adam and eve for him. They also forced him to study more bible and less maths even though he could do math problems 5 grades above his level. I couldn't tamper with their religious ideologies in my position, but I sure as hell taught as much maths as I could.
Those two I wonder about the most.
15. The success and failure of students through the years
Some have done pretty good. Some have gone to jail. One is dead. Most are doing somewhere between "Not dead" and "Terrific". One interesting trend I noticed was all the ones that went Navy are doing really well for themselves. One just bought his first house and we've been meaning to grab a beer to catch up. Another is in medical school now and spends his free time traveling when he can. The others are keeping a pretty good cap on things and seem to be doing well. However, the ones that went army seem to be struggling. One is working at one of those uniform service companies. Another seems to bounce between different lifestyles ranging from "I'm a raver!" to "I'm broke". A third just got arrested at a concert or something? Two former students are stripping. At least a couple are working for different MLM schemes. Several have various criminal records ranging from vandalism and shoplifting.
I think the best success stories are the two Navy ones and one that graduated college 2 years ago and just got an apartment with her fiance in my home town. I also talk to her parents from time to time and it sounds like she's really got a good life ahead of her. I look forward to seeing her family grow.