Almost 20 years ago I did my student teaching in two parts, six weeks in a first grade class and another six in a fourth grade class. I started the school year with that first grade teacher and her students: I helped set the room up, I was there on the first day, back to school night, and conferences. My sense of ownership was strong, and I was sad to leave for the second half of my assignment.
As luck would have it, my real teaching job was in the middle school that many of those students would eventually attend, and my toe was tapping for the five years it took for them to reach me. Their parents were super impressed that I remembered their children, but I could never have forgotten them, never mind that to this day, I have their school pictures from that year in the top drawer of my desk at school.
And here the story takes a facebook turn: a couple of those kids are friends of friends and so occasionally I am smacked in the face by evidence of how much time has actually passed. Today it was a photo of one of their children opening Christmas gifts. To me, he's still a six-year-old missing his front teeth, but to somebody else, he's Dad.