Friday, June 10, 2011

The Power of Remembering a Name

So there I was, sitting outside of Starbucks, with a friend, enjoying a nice evening breeze, fun conversation, and of course my coffee. Fellow Starbucks' patrons surrounded me and constantly walked in and out. And then, a young lady with a familiar face walked by. We didn't make eye contact, but my "teacher" mind instantly went into "I think I taught her several years ago" mode. This happens to me quite regularly, and frankly, I embrace the challenge. I've always prided myself on the fact that I can remember my former students' names regardless of how long ago I've taught them. It was easier at the beginning of my career, but now, after eleven years, and over one thousand students, it has become a bit more of a challenge. And though I struggled at first recalling her name, it came to me after about ten minutes.

Thankfully, she came outside with her friend, and I greeted her by saying her name - not just her first, but her entire name. I could tell she was impressed. After catching up for a bit, we realized it had been over nine years since we saw eachother last. As the evening progressed, I learned more and more about her, and thus became more and more proud to have played a small role in her life. She spoke of her hopes and dreams, as well as times remembered from my class. It was a joyful moment that inspired me even more to appreciate the value in remembering another person's name.

Yes, I believe we still would have had a nice chat if I didn't remember her name. But that simple, little thing, I believe was very powerful, and showed her that she had value in my eyes. She was more than just a face that looked familiar to me. She had a name, and there's power in recognizing that.

No comments:

Post a Comment