I just had my first former student encounter as a resident of Rochester Hills. I am sitting in Caribou Coffee, using their wireless, drinking delicious iced coffee, and relishing my freedom. All of a sudden I hear, :"Hi, Mrs. Landefeld!"Startled by being called a name I haven't been referred to in a long time, I look around. At the counter I spy a group of kids from LM, one of whom is a sweet girl I taught the school year before my medical/maternity leave. My first thought was honestly, aren't they too young fr coffee? But quickly recovering, I smiled with enthusiasm and excitement at seeing some little lovies.
Many teachers deal with these encounters on a dally basis, especially many of my co-workers, who have long been residents of the community in which we teach. Rochester has always felt like my home and my community because I grew up here and my parents are still residents. All my schooling - Pre-K - Twelfth Grade - wait, make that Graduate School - has been here. In fact, my kindergarten teacher was the principal who hired me for my first teaching job. Occasionally when I've been out and about with co-workers after work or with my parents. I've run into students or family's of kids I've taught. Not often though. Certainly not often enough for it to become an expected occurrence. However, residing in a different community, I have always felt a little set apart.
Catching up with the group of sun-bleached hair,freckled faced kids about their summer, I got a little thrill sharing the news that I now live here. Of course they had no idea that I didn't, but I enjoyed the sound of those words coming out of my mouth. It felt like coming home.