Years ago I taught at Duluth High School, in Duluth, Georgia. It was very much a small town school when I started teaching English/language arts there. I finally made my way to a class reunion for several classes.

It seemed so odd to see the high school kids I taught as forty-something men and women. Many had changed so much I needed the name tags. Actually several of the students said they needed the tags, too.
I wandered in, wondering if I would feel out of place. Well, I didn't! By the time I left I was "feeling the love". Yep, my kids hugged me, took pictures, and squealed their excitement at seeing me there.I finally gave them permission to call me Mary instead of Mrs. Barfield. It's time.

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My babies are doctors, lawyers, one forensic scientist, a former pro football star and some are even grandparents. Now, that's scary! Some are now my friends on Facebook so I can keep in touch .

Some of the high school sweethearts are even still together. There was dancing and food but I most enjoyed talking with my kids as adults!



Some of my babies have passed away and that's sad.

More photos will be on Facebook soon.

Do you even see your old teachers? Do you think about what they are doing?

20 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // September 20, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

    Wow, Mary, what a sentimental journey for you. Great pics.
    Reunions are bitter sweet occasions. Glad you got to go.

  2. Nightingale // September 20, 2009 at 10:53 AM  

    Mary must have been the greatest teacher. I fondly remember an English teacher in high school who encouraged my writing and even once let me write a story instead of a book report.

  3. Barbara Monajem // September 20, 2009 at 11:29 AM  

    I live so far away from my old teachers that I never see them, but I often wonder about them, especially the ones that meant a lot to me. One of my high school English teachers, Jack Hodgins, became a well-known Canadian author.

  4. Mary Marvella // September 20, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

    Thanks, Beth. For whatever reason I managed to make it to both my High School reunion and one for my students. I haven't seen invitations and announcements because the address most groups had was the photo studio my Ex still owns. Since things happen for a reason, I got myself to both reunions!

  5. Mary Marvella // September 20, 2009 at 12:50 PM  

    Linda, some of those former students told me that my influence went farther than just the subjects I taught. Some who failed my classes still hugged me and said I had helped them. who knew?

  6. Mary Marvella // September 20, 2009 at 12:55 PM  

    Barbara, many of the kids moved away but they returned for the reunion. Even those who live in Duluth shop and work away from places where I would run into them.

    There were other teachers there, too, but not many.

  7. Mona Risk // September 20, 2009 at 2:22 PM  

    Mary, that's a wonderful reunion. I lost track of most of my teachers. When I saw one of them a few years ago, she didn't remember me. I was one her best pupils but she didn't remember me. She remembered the two that drove her crazy with their antics. I cried from disappointment. Later I saw my math professor. He recognized me as soon as I said my maiden name. I was so happy to see him. He died a year later.

  8. Mary Ricksen // September 20, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

    It must make you so proud of them and yourself for helping them along the way. I wish I'd had a teacher who cares like you do. You are what teaching is all about Mary.
    How great you got to see them again!
    And to be remembered as a good teacher, awesome!

  9. Mary Ricksen // September 20, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

    We move so much, I went to two different high schools, so no reunions. But this reunion was very special indeed!

  10. Mary Marvella // September 20, 2009 at 3:16 PM  

    Mona, sometimes we walk away and then our memories kick in. A couple of the boys covered their name tags and wanted to know if I remembered them.

    Well, I taught at that school for 7 years with 150 plus students each year. HMMM.

    The last time I saw those folks they we 16-18 and they are now 40 +. (20 years ago.) Some of them had lost 40 pounds and had gray hair or gained 50 pounds and were bald.

    Seeing name tags let me rummage through my memory, but some took longer to dig out. I managed to fool them with inane details until they gave me enough info to stop faking it.

  11. Mary Marvella // September 20, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

    Mary, if you get a chance, hit a reunion. i thought I was invisible in high school but I learned some girls remembered things I said or did in class.

    The crazy thing was that many recognized me without the name tag after all those years.

    I loved teaching and my students, even the ones who tried to be the most obnoxious and those who failed my classes.

  12. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 20, 2009 at 3:37 PM  

    Mary, most excellent post! I can see what a blast you had at the reunion. Those people remembered you because you were a dynamic teacher. You my friend are a small, compact dynamo! My favorite teacher pass away a few years ago! She lived into her nineties! Wonderful lady. Sent me a note everytime my name was in the newspaper! Like when I sold my first short story, won a contest, graduated from college. She was such a boon to my self-esteem.

  13. Mary Marvella // September 20, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

    Scarlet,

    You were lucky to have a teacher like that! I'm not that good.

    My daughter says she runs into some of my former students remember her and ask about me.

    Makes me feel good!

  14. Nightingale // September 20, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

    This is an aside. I loved the Salina story! Just thought I'd drop back in and put in another 2 cents worth

  15. Toni V.S. // September 21, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

    All of the teachers I had in elementary and some from high school are gone now, but I still correspond with two from college--Dr. May McMillan and Linda Shuler. Dr. McMillan received the dedication of my novel Bloodseek and Linda has a similar one in an upcoming novel. You were with us when Linda and I visited her in Austen that fateful December holiday, Mary. Remember?

  16. Lynne Roberts // September 21, 2009 at 6:16 PM  

    Mary, I loved this post.

    My fourth grade teacher will always be my favorite. he inspired me to excellence. He subs at my children's school now because he 'just couldn't stay away from the kids.'

  17. Mary Marvella // September 21, 2009 at 8:30 PM  

    Yep, Toni, Linda S is nice and Dr. May rocks. She was so caring.

  18. Mary Marvella // September 21, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

    Welcome, Lynne. The grammar teacher in me keeps popping up at critique meetings and tutoring is good for giving me a teaching fix.

  19. Judy // September 22, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

    I haven't seen my old teachers but I remember some of them, especially the ones who made me produce! A good teacher is invaluable!!

  20. Joanne // September 24, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

    Sounds like you had a blast, Mary. Former students are so special. I'm sure you're proud of many of them.