What happens when you leave a school? Do you walk away and never see these kids and their families again? I'll be honest, that's what happened at the first school I left. It was a low income community of non-English speaking parents with little to no technology, so it was hard to stay in touch when I left Arizona to come home to California.
This last school was harder to leave the kids behind! I honestly started the year thinking I'd be staying with these kids for up to 3 years (I had multiple kinders in my K-2 class) and it was hard to leave them at the end of the year. The kids had nothing to do with my choice to leave. It was all about an AMAZING opportunity! When I left I gave my personal email to all 4 families (the 5th moved away before the year ended). With a class of 4-5 kids I got to know the families VERY WELL! I loved them all.
The summer hasn't even ended and I've seen or communicated with 3 of the 4 families! I feel like keeping up communication in special education it is extra important! Our students see sooo many more specialists and doctors, which means surveys and forms about the students to be filled out by teachers before important decisions about medications and behavior strategies are made. These are things a new teacher who has only known a child for a week cannot possible answer with any sort of accuracy.
This summer I have been tutoring one of my sweet boys and I love it! He's started opening up to me in new ways. He has learned my schedule of working at the new school, tutoring him, then heading off to the gym. It's cute. He says, "Bye! You're off to the gym now!" I confused him last week when I was out of summer school and went to the gym before seeing him.
Two other kids needed forms filled out for various evaluations and testing procedures. Nothing too exciting, but something a new teacher would have trouble answering. I was more than happy to help them and we send the forms back and forth to each other. I had such sweet families last year that I don't think I could ever tell them no!
How do you feel about keeping in touch with former families? What is the longest you've kept in touch with a former student or their family just to see how they are doing or help them out?