I am proud to say that many, if not most, of my students have grown into successful adults with good jobs and nice families. I love seeing them on Facebook showing off pictures of their own children (whom I call my grand-students) and sounding like responsible adults. After all, isn’t every teacher and parent’s goal to raise their children into responsible, contributing adults? Even the ones I or other teachers may have despaired over have grown up into surprisingly well-adjusted and responsible people!
Not only do students grow up into responsible adults, some of our students become famous. I have had several of those in my career, but the one I met in my supervisory teacher’s classroom during my student teaching
was my first.
Have you ever watched “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team”? This reality program chronicles the tryouts of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders under the direction of Kelli McGonagill Finglass, who happens to be that student. Beautiful, tough as nails, and a former Cowboys cheerleader herself, she has brought the cheerleaders to international recognition and status.
|On the field talking to the cheerleader candidates. Image from here
As a first year cheerleader. Image from here
I’m not going to pretend and say that I knew Kelli well or was a favorite teacher. In fact, when I met her at a Distinguished Alumni reception we had at Lindale High School a few months ago, I was surprised when she said that she remembered me. It may have just been her being polite. I could instantly see how she has become such a successful professional and even a national icon. Her poise and charm made everyone feel at ease and important after they waited in line to speak to her.
I am proud of all my students, not just Kelli, and I am not more proud of her than my others. It’s just kind of cool when one of them becomes famous and you can say that you were one of their teachers.