15 Mar

The high school most of my middle students will attend has a tradition of inviting former teachers to send messages to students who will graduate. Because the school’s teams are called the Sunset Apollos, the messages are called Apollograms. I have only been at my middle school for six years, so my first group of 6th graders won’t graduate until 2022. However, the elementary school where I used to teach also feeds into the same high school.

Because kids haven’t been in school buildings for a year, and because we are scheduled to return to buildings in April, the decision was made to move the due date forward so graduating students can receive them upon their return to the building.

When our secretary sent out the list of former Stoller students who were graduating, I looked over the list and knew no one. I was a little disappointed, but then I realized that if we’d been sent a list, the elementary school I taught at probably also received a list. I reached out to the secretary and she did not disappoint.

I like to keep Sundays quiet. So yesterday morning, as rain fell outside, I snuggled on the sofa under a blanket and filled out my Apollograms.

As each name came, I pictured the student who I last knew as a 5th grader. Because I’d been the school librarian when they were kindergartners, I knew all but one student. I wondered what they looked like now. Would I recognize them if I had the chance to meet them? Each of their names brought a smile to may face as I thought back to my years at that school, and this group of kids.

5 Responses to “Apollograms”

  1. Leigh Anne Eck March 15, 2021 at 7:40 am #

    What a wonderful tradition. My first group of 6th graders are seniors this year, and I feel like they have been so cheated. I am sure they will appreciate your gift!

  2. arjeha March 15, 2021 at 7:58 am #

    What a great way to recognize former students and show them that they were not just a body filling a seat in your classroom.

  3. jumpofffindwings March 15, 2021 at 8:15 am #

    I love this tradition. I’ve found that after four—or more years—away from a student, if he is a boy, I barely recognize him.The girls, however, I usually know right away. I don’t know what that says, actually, maybe that change is more dramatic in those years for the males? No matter, this is wonderful.

  4. hzreflections March 15, 2021 at 2:55 pm #

    Thats a fun tradition! Gosh- it is amazing how much those little ones change. I teach high school, and they certainly remember their elementary days! 🙂

  5. Lisa Corbett March 15, 2021 at 5:51 pm #

    Having them ready now is such a good idea. This sounds like a great community building tradition.

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