The 8th and 9th grade choir came to his elementary school to perform. He recognized several kids from his classes in years past, and he also managed to dredge up their names from his excellent memory. After the concert, he went up and said hello to his former students.
When he called them by name, one of them started yelling excitedly, "He remembers my name! He remembers my name!" This attracted the attention of one of her friends, who came over. The friend hadn't gone to Husband's school, but when she was introduced, she exclaimed, "YOU'RE Mr. Aurora? You're a legend!"
We ran into one of his former students and the student's siblings at the store the other day (which is odd because he works in an entirely different school district and there isn't a lot of reason for those kids to come out here). They were all excited and waving, but as a kid is who runs into his teacher out of the context of the classroom and school hallways, they were also suddenly shy and a little bit confused. I remember being really thrown when I realized that my teacher didn't live at the school and probably had a family.
Husband has implemented the free reading experience in his classroom by working out an extra visit to the library for his class each week. He also asked the librarian if instead of reading a picture book to the kids, she would present a short "commercial" about a book she likes during the first weekly visit. During the second visit, the kids would simply be allowed to sit and read or select books for later. He was pleased because the librarian's recommendation was so well done that one of the students immediately checked out the book she had highlighted. They will also be allowed to do "commercials" for each other about books they have read and enjoyed.
As discouraged as he gets with not bringing home a lot of money, I try to remind Husband that he is making a huge impact on his students' lives. Obviously, they remember him with fondness and have even talked about him to their friends. My elementary school teachers in Idaho were highly instrumental in helping me develop a deep and abiding love of learning, and I will remember them forever. Husband's goal is also to help his students have a desire to continue learning throughout their lives. I'm very proud of him.