Firstly I would like to thank @mrlockyer for providing a list of ideas which ultimately led to this post.
Up until recently I had been out of the UK for a number of years only returning to the UK and to the area within which I taught for a number of years, recently. As such I haven’t had the opportunity to bump into ex-students or at least the likelihood was very small indeed.
Being back in the UK the Christmas period brought me back to the area where I once taught, and into a local pub with my son for a few festive beers. It was after a short while that a young man who apparently knew and worked with my son came over and introduced himself as one of my students from around 11 or 12 years ago. He remembered me and our lessons together with some detail. He said very positive things about how I had helped him and had an impact on his life.
I consider the fact that a student would remember me after 11 or 12 years as a very positive factor. The fact that in addition to this they would feel the need to come and speak to me as their ex-teacher. Also the fact they would be so positive about their experiences in my class.
We all hope to have an impact on the students which we teach however to hear it from an ex-student is an amazing feeling. At least with this student I can feel I have been successful.
This is one of the reasons we teach! To have a positive impact on the students which we teach.
[Note: I do acknowledge the conversation mentioned above happened in a pub over the festive season so their may have been an element of the beer speaking, however I hope that wasn’t the predominant factor in the discussion]