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Dear Former Students:

Hearing your delighted shouts of "It's Mrs. Quilts!" in the hallway of the high school today was nothing short of amazing. As a freshly retired middle school teacher/newly minted substitute teacher, I wasn't sure if working in the high school where "my" former middle schoolers attend was a good idea. Would they behave? Would they just be *yawn*? Would they even remember me? I was astonished to hear the honest delight in your voices, the hugs I got in the hallway, and the excitement and pleasure in your attitude during class. More than once I heard "You were my favorite teacher!" (Really? I honestly never knew that...and isn't that kinda sad?) I had the absolute joy of seeing the maturing young adults you have all become.

Yeah, I know it won't last. Eventually, the novelty of seeing a former teacher in *your* environment will end, and all will be back to normal. But when the secretary asked if I would come back (3 more days in the next 2 weeks), I jumped at the chance. When she looked at me and said "The kids were really excited to see you!", I almost cried.

I didn't realize how much I missed you all until today.

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