Last night as I was getting ready to teach my usual Tuesday ballet class, one of my favorite students who is now in college was taking the class before mine. She has always been a hard worker and often takes as many classes as she can. Students such as this one are gems.
I asked her if she was going to stay for class, and she told me that she was going to go take another class instead. I flat-out guilt tripped her into taking mine (or at least the majority of it) by saying that it would probably be the last time she had my class. This was all in good fun naturally, but I was so happy she stayed.
I realize for myself that this is a reminder of how attached I have gotten to the kids I have had the pleasure of seeing on a weekly basis for years. Holding onto a favorite student is yet another way of trying to prolong the inevitable. It's not so much wanting to bring the kid "back into the nest" as it is trying to keep myself there where it is safe. I am scared to get pushed out and re-learn to fly.
It is exciting when I see students come back and take my class. It is the biggest honor to know that even with their new experiences, they still have regard for me and what I passed on. As selfish as it may be, I am happy that this student stayed. It always helps me push myself as a teacher when a former student returns.