The other day, on Facebook, a former student reached out to some of her former instructors with a quote about something to the effect of how teachers are not just teachers but lifelong connections, and her comments and the fact that she took the time to include my name in that list of former teachers energized me. At that moment, I knew what I needed to do for my dad's 80th birthday. Twice retired but still substituting, he could never give up this passion that he has within him.
I used the power of social media to make some strategic contacts who I knew could reach out to others in their "groups" to disseminate a request: write a note, memory, or wish to send to my dad to celebrate his 80th mark! Word traveled quickly, and in a few weeks time, I had well over 100 texts, notes, emails, cards, pictures, and more sent to me to be included in a scrapbook that I constructed and planned to present to him on his birthday.
Today was the day. Before I pulled the thick, heavy collection of memories out of the decorative bag, I told my dad, "you know... sometimes people just need to know what impact they have had on the
My dad took the book home, and I know that he will have hours of reading and remembering people who found it in their hearts to take the time to send a long letter or just a simple "happy birthday." I watched him connecting with them once again, if just for a moment, through shared experiences.