Chasing Your Dreams—The Next Chapter

From Pexels Photo Credit to Mati Mango

In some ways, being an elementary school teacher is like watching the first fifteen minutes of a two-hour drama.  We catch just enough of the beginning that we have to know how that movie turns out.  After the first day of any school year, I became invested in the outcome of my students—not just for that year but long after they were in my class.

One of the blessings of living in the same city where I taught for thirty-one years is I have watched many of those dramas unfold, albeit from a distance.  Life is the most incredible reality show ever invented, and occasionally the plot takes unexpected twists and turns.  Sometimes the endings are predictable, filled with moments of celebration and happiness, while others have enormous sadness and tragedy.

My purpose in writing this piece was to highlight four individuals who are chasing their dreams.  As with anyone who pursues their goals with fearlessness, I have nothing but respect and admiration.  The connection they share is that they all cut hair for a living.  Three of the four went to my elementary school, and I’ve watched them grow from kids to young adults.  The fourth, Sharon, was never my student, but I couldn’t do this piece without writing about her.  I’m guessing she has been cutting my hair for somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen years.

Breanne—B Styled

Breanne and her beautiful family.

Sixth-grade for a lot of kids is an awkward time.  It is an age when moods can change 100% from one hour to the next.  Friends, while always significant, become an even more critical part of life for young adolescents.  They become more aware of what others think of them, and in some cases, withdraw for fear that their peers will make fun of them.

Breanne did not fit the usual mold of many sixth graders.  She was one of those unique kids who seemed to relish the spotlight.  When there was going to be a school talent show, it was a safe bet that Breanne would be part of it.  She had a stage presence and charisma that was rare for her age.  I envisioned that she would someday have a job working with people.  That was one prediction I got right.

The way I happened to run into Breanne after 20+ years is a story in itself.  I had heard that one of my former students, Kiersten, was cutting hair in town at a salon called B Styled.  I happened to be walking down the street one day and recognized the name of the shop. I popped in to schedule an appointment with Kiersten, but she was not working that day.  Surprisingly, the person I was talking to happened to be another former student of mine—Breanne, who I soon learned was the owner of B Styled.  What?  Two of my ex-students, who I taught several years apart, worked at the same salon?

Breanne has been cutting hair for 18-years.  She got interested in hair when she began working at a salon as a receptionist at age 19.  One of her first impressions was the positive vibe in the shop.  “Everyone was laughing and having fun.  When a color would process, people just sat and chatted.  I saw clients bringing their stylist coffee, fresh flowers from their gardens, Christmas presents, and hugs.” 

Even when Breanne was younger, she had a dream of someday owning her own business as she grew up in an environment of multiple family businesses.  “I loved the idea of dreaming, creating, and bringing a business to life.  A new business is very much like an infant, nurturing it, and watching it grow.”

When Breanne became a mom, her priorities changed.  Being married with two children, she wanted to put any extra time and money into her family.  Not being an owner has allowed her to have more control over her schedule and finances.

As far as the future, Breanne sees herself cutting hair for now but not for another eighteen years.  One of her other passions is photography, and she has now started a photography business on the side.  Being a people person, it isn’t surprising that her favorite thing to photograph is people.  It’s possible that somewhere down the line, she may do more with landscapes.  That isn’t realistic now as she already has a full plate as a wife, mother, stylist, photographer, and an all-around great person.

She appreciates all the support she has received from her hair clients as she expands into the world of photography.  “The people who come to me for hair want to support me in photography.  Being a stylist has helped me be a people person and interact with all different personality types. It has also helped me to be quick and forward-thinking if I need to be.”

Breanne encourages anyone that is thinking about becoming a stylist to pursue it.  It can be very challenging to get established, but she encourages others not to give up.  “It helps if you like people and are patient.”

Check out her Facebook photography page if you want to see some terrific photos: https://www.facebook.com/Bre-Egbert-Photography-167425508337424

Kiersten—B Styled

Kiersten with her mom Lori. I taught Kiersten in 2nd grade. Lori was in my sixth-grade student teaching class.

Unlike sixth-grade girls, who could be extremely challenging at times, second-grade girls were a picnic.  The difference in the maturity level of boys and girls at this age is astounding.  Sorry guys, but what they say about boys maturing slower than girls is true.  Girls were usually cooperative, cheerful, liked school, and did whatever I asked of them.  Boys were like balls in a pinball machine, constantly in motion and bouncing from one place to another.  They were still likable, but for many, sitting for any length of time was a challenge.

Kiersten was one of those eager to please second-grade girls.  I’m sure her friends now would be surprised to learn that she was quiet and shy in those days.  She did not like to be called on or ever be the center of attention.  Despite her reticent nature, Kiersten had many friends and was one of the brightest students in the class.  Now, she is full of personality and charm with a fabulous sense of humor.  Not only do I get a great cut, but it’s also fun to visit with her.

Kiersten has been cutting hair for almost six years and enjoys what she is doing very much. She had known for a long time that she wanted to be a stylist.  “I used to go to the salon and loved the atmosphere.  When I was in high school, my stylist at the time encouraged me to go to beauty school and inspired me.” 

She was also interested in beauty and YouTube and combined those two interests.  “One of my favorite YouTubers attended cosmetology school, which was awesome to watch.  Going into high school, I had the mindset that as soon as I graduated, I would go to beauty school.”  Kiersten followed through on her plans, graduating from Fredrick and Charles Beauty School in 2015.  

Kiersten enjoys many parts of her job.  “I think what I love the most is the freedom it gives me.  I like being able to create my own schedule.  I also love building connections with my clients and making people feel beautiful.”

One thing that many of us wrestle with is finding a balance between our personal and professional lives.  Kiersten is no different.  “One of the few downsides to my job is finding a work and life balance and setting boundaries.”  She typically works 40 or more hours per week.  “After the Covid shutdown, I was so thrilled to be back at work, but I was working late every night and on my days off as well.”  While it was nice to be busy, she realized it would be impossible to keep up that pace.  “I try to have a long weekend at least once a month, and I got a work phone to separate business calls from my personal phone.”

Keeping on top of the current trends in the beauty industry is another aspect of the job that she enjoys.  “I am part of several hairdressing forums, which helps me stay in the loop for all the current trends.  My biggest passion is hair-coloring, and I learn many new techniques in online classes and from Instagram.  I typically attend hair shows every year, which is really inspiring and gets me excited to be part of this industry.”

Kiersten is happy right where she is in her career.  “I do see myself doing this job for a long time.  I love what I do.  When I decide to start a family someday, I think the flexibility of this job will be perfect.  I am very happy where I am now with the clientele and connections I have built.  I can’t wait to see where else this career takes me.”  Things could change down the line, but she seems content for now.  “I love being a booth renter.  I get to run my business the way I want without all the responsibilities of running a salon.  Someday, I can picture myself owning a small one or two chair salon.”

Kiersten’s best piece of advice for anyone starting in the industry is to stick it out.  “it’s hard to build a clientele at first and can be discouraging at times, but it’s so worth it once you get to a good place.”

Breanne and Kiersten of B Styled with their old teacher.

Christian—4-Ever Faded Barber Shop

Christian with his younger sister, Cleo. I taught Cleo in 2nd grade.
Christian just opened up his own barbershop this month.

While Christian passed through my elementary school, I never got a chance to teach him.  He was the same age as my son, and they were in some of the same classes together.  They played basketball together on the school team—the Pine Hill Pandas—not exactly a name that put fear into their opponents.  Christian’s family was one that I will never forget.  I got a chance to teach his younger sister, Cleo, who was the kind of kid any teacher would love to have in his classroom.  She always looked out for the kids who were lonely or needed a friend.  I also taught his nephews Payton and Ronnell.  One of my favorite memories of Christian’s family was how supportive they were of one another.  If one of the kids had a basketball game, most of the rest of the family would be in attendance.  He had the cool factor, even back in sixth grade. 

Christian, now 28, started cutting hair partly out of necessity coming out of high school.  “Growing up as a mixed-race person in Eureka, I found there were no barbers around to cut hair that looked like mine.  I started cutting my own hair.”  Like any new skill, it took a bit to master.  “After a lot of failed attempts, I figured it out and proceeded to cut my friends’ hair as well.”

Christian has done a lot of different things already in his young life.  After graduating from high school in Eureka, California, he moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  “My older brother helped get me a job as a cook in a restaurant, and I found out it was something I enjoyed doing.”  Like many young people, Christian continued looking for the right job that paid well and made him happy.  “I bounced around for about two years between working in retail and factory jobs.  I landed back in the kitchen and decided that I wanted to work my way up.” 

The next few years, Christian followed that dream, and after about four years, he earned a sous-chef position in a well-known restaurant in Fayetteville.  A year later, he became a head chef.  After a time, he moved back to be with his family in California.

One of Christian’s dreams has always been to start his own business.  “It has always been my goal to have my own business.  My first thought was a restaurant, but then I realized a barbershop could be a stepping stone to lots of new businesses.”  After a stint cutting hair at another shop, Christian took the plunge earlier this month and opened his own barbershop called 4-Ever Faded.  Wanting to show my support for his new business, I got my haircut today in his shop.  Here I am looking so fresh after my cut! 

Future model-Pete Springer 😎(Thank you, Christian for the cut!)

Every smart owner has a unique approach to making his/her business work, and Christian’s mantra says a lot about his style.  “I don’t just sell haircuts; I sell confidence.  To me, that means a lot more than just a haircut.”  This is not the end of his story.  “I see myself cutting hair for a while, but I also want to be an entrepreneur.  This is just the beginning, and there’s plenty more to come.”  Business is going so well for him that Christian is looking to put in a new chair and hire another barber.

Most of the time, people know what kind of haircut they want, but Christian enjoys the challenge and creativity that comes with the job.  “Very seldom do clients give complete control to me, but when they do, I definitely enjoy that.  If I think a customer would look better with a different haircut, I might suggest something, but I never force it.  I get to be creative, and I enjoy seeing a customer’s reaction when I turn them around, and they see their new haircut.”  For anyone considering cutting hair for a living, Christian’s advice is, “Do it.  Anything is what you make of it.”

Christian’s New Barbershop (4-Ever Faded) 3131 F ST. Eureka, CA

Sharon—Supercuts

My longtime stylist, Sharon, with her husband, Mark.

My original intention in writing this article was to highlight former students who got into the hair industry, but even though I didn’t teach Sharon, she has cut my hair longer than anyone.  With seventeen years in the industry, I have stuck with her through several shops.  From Master Cuts to the Beautiful Group to Salon 20 and the soon-to-be-opened Supercuts, she has been a fixture in the Bayshore Mall.  I’m guessing I walked into her shop one day about fifteen years ago, and the rest is history.  For most of that time, she has been the manager.  As more and more stores in the mall closed, Sharon has kept going.  Besides giving a good haircut, she is super-efficient. I appreciate that Sharon gets me in and out quickly.  She has an infectious laugh, and I always enjoy talking with her.

Sharon’s journey to becoming a stylist and manager is fascinating.  After she worked for six years in the medical field, she decided to switch careers. One of her longtime friends, Matt Sharkey, encouraged her to get into cosmetology.  The next four years were a whirlwind.  “In my 20s, I was a single mom, working full-time and taking classes.  I was driven by the challenge of expanding into another business. I juggled everything that life threw at me in those four years, but the drive and sacrifice were well worth it.”

Graduating from Fredrick and Charles Beauty School in 2003, Sharon fearlessly dove into the deep end of the pool, and seventeen years later, she is still cutting hair for a living as a stylist and manager.  Sharon has worked for many franchises affiliated with Regis, the largest salon chain in the world. She started working for Master Cuts in 2004.  “It was scary starting out with no prior experience.”  As with anything Sharon took on, she did it with passion.  “I asked a lot of questions and was driven to be successful. In just a year and a half, I had already moved into the management side of the business.  I enjoyed the added responsibility while ensuring the success of my company.”

Sharon’s career at Master Cuts was extremely successful.  She earned several awards from the corporation for running one of their top salons.  The photo below was taken of Sharon when she was with Master Cuts and was awarded a trip to Berlin, Germany, to receive the Presidential Award for her store’s success.

Sharon traveled to Berlin Germany to receive the Presidential Award from Master Cuts.

The favorite part of Sharon’s job is undoubtedly the customers, which she refers to as her “guests.” There is no question how important her guests are to her. “I like getting to know them and to learn about their families and interests.  I always remember details from their previous visits that we have talked about.”  As a longtime customer of Sharon’s, I can certainly attest to that.  She makes me feel important and tries to make sure that I always leave happy.

Sharon admits that one of the more challenging aspects of the job is how she gets emotionally attached to her guests.  “I put my whole heart into my customers’ lives and treat them as part of my immediate family.”  She acknowledges how hard it is when one of her valued customers passes or even moves out of the area.

Lots of times, when a stylist works for a company, things change that she has no control over.  Sharon worked for Master Cuts for over fourteen years until Regis dropped their affiliation with them.  The store in the Bayshore Mall became part of The Beautiful Group.  Sharon remembers one of the most challenging times with them was when the company abruptly shut its doors without warning.  Stylists who had been cutting hair with Sharon for a long time were suddenly out of work.  Sharon landed on her feet again when a regional manager for The Beautiful Group founded Salon 20.  She was able to rehire many of the stylists who had worked for her before.

Right when it seemed the ship was back on course, Covid came along. The shop closed for a time, and after a year, Salon 20 closed.  Despite all the setbacks, Sharon keeps going.  “You choose a career to work through all the changes.  I love watching others grow and get excited about their career choice.”

The hurdles are always there. The biggest one is often trying to keep a shop staffed with people coming and going. After cutting hair for 17 years, she admits that her feet often hurt at the end of the day. It can be hard when you’re on your feet a lot.  Knee and back pain sometimes bother her.

But Sharon is a survivor, and she’s moved on to her next challenge.  Her latest project is working with her friend and business associate, Scott Merriam, in opening up Supercuts at her old site in The Bayshore Mall.  Scott, a local owner, is working with Sharon to build a strong franchise of local stylists.  Supercuts is under the Regis umbrella of salons.  Look for Supercuts to be opening at the end of April or the beginning of May. 

   

Supercuts opening soon in the Bayshore Mall—Go see Sharon!

I know that I will continue to follow my students’ progress.  The best reward for a teacher is watching these young adults making their mark in the world and achieving their dreams.  My advice to all young people continues to be the same:  find out what you want to do in life and believe in yourself.  Chase your dreams with fearlessness.  Not only will you be happier, but you will inspire someone else to do the same.  What could be better than that?

This is what happens when your stylists aren’t working due to Covid.

93 thoughts on “Chasing Your Dreams—The Next Chapter

  1. It’s a hair-cutting post! Maybe those former students could give their teacher a few tips so he doesn’t have to go bald during emergency conditions.
    😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 12:07 am

      It wasn’t entirely related to Covid. I am getting thin up there, and I was curious to find out what I looked like with no hair. I told my wife I was thinking about doing it, but I don’t think she believed me. Then one morning, she woke up next to a bald dude.🤣 I kept it that way for two months. There were some perks. I especially liked not having to mess with my hair. On the downside, it gets cold up there (lots of stocking caps), or you can easily sunburn if you’re not careful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀 Your poor wife. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:20 am

        🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  2. During lockdown hairdressers and barbers are the people everyone has missed most – you can’t have your haircut on line! I always admire their skills as you have to get it right – you can’t undo a mistake. And at the same time they are chatting and taking an interest in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 12:08 am

      Most of the people I go to are pretty talkative. I know everybody is different, but I enjoy that aspect of getting a haircut.

      Like

  3. i love how you watched these young people’s lives unfold as they turned into wonderful, independent, adults, creating a path in life that they enjoy. they call clearly love people, and are self-motivated to do something they love to earn a living. it takes a special skill set to do all that they do, and they were sorely missed during the pandemic, my first visit to a salon after the lockdown, was such a thrill and i was so happy to see my stylist’s face! a lifesaver!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:22 am

      I know exactly what you mean. It’s so easy to take those simple pleasures for granted until we don’t have them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful post, Pete. You have an amazing skill in telling a story where the readers become truly invested in the outcome. I hope these professionals continue with the great successes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:27 am

      It can be a bit of a slippery slope for a teacher. I’m sure some of my students probably think, “What’s this guy’s deal?” I don’t want to invade someone’s privacy or creep them out, but I’m always going to err on the side of showing them how proud I am.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting Pete. It is wonderful to live in one place and see the younger generations grow up and become productive adults. You have highlighted the lives of this younger generation very well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:30 am

      One of the funniest experiences was teaching second-generation students. Some of those parent/teacher conferences were pretty funny as we realized how a child had adopted many of their parents’ habits.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is interesting about second generations

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Such an important job! Hairdressers are much in demand at the moment this side of the pond and yours too I expect. It’s a tonic for sure to get a good haircut. Long may they work! Great post, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:33 am

      It was interesting to find out from Kiersten that she had to work on her days off just to get caught up. Too much business falls into the category of “nice problems.”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Your advice to all your students applies to everyone, Pete. It’s great advice.
    My hair stylist was a student at a school at which I taught. I didn’t teach her though. She was in year 6 and 7 when I was teaching year one. One day when I walked into her salon (in the late 90s) she recognised me. I’ve been going to her ever since. I know when I’m on to a good thing. We get on very well and always have a lot to talk about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:34 am

      I love stories like that, Norah. I’m sometimes surprised how often or how little I run into former students who have been living here all the time.

      Like

  8. Such inspiring stories. I can only imagine how much joy it brings you to see these kids succeed and be happy. Your post also makes me realize how much I appreciate my hair stylist. She is always a joy to visit. I even convinced my husband to go to her and get what I call “The Marcie Experience.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:37 am

      “The Marcie Experience”—sounds like a new reality show.🤣 It’s too bad it takes a pandemic to remind us how much we appreciate our stylists.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can feel your pride and joy in your story as to how your students have forged their way in life…kudos to you, Pete as you follow with care and encouragement …What a great teacher you must have been 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:39 am

      I do like to follow them. I honestly had no interest in Facebook for many years, but I have to admit it has been the greatest resource for finding out what happened to my students.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Like any social media platform it does have a plus side, Pete which is wonderful but also a darker side and its that I believe which causes a lot of other issues outside of these platforms…Such a shame x

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Terrific story, Pete. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:39 am

      My pleasure, John.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It is so amazing for you to get to see where some of your students landed and how awesome for these to all be in the hair-cutting business. 🙂 You have plenty of stylists to choose from. I laughed out loud at the COVID hair picture. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:42 am

      I told my wife I was going to shave it, but she looked at me skeptically like I had lost my mind. That bald look probably isn’t too far away because the grass is getting pretty thin upstairs. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  12. How nice to see where they all ended up. Well-told histories, Pete. I know what you mean about seeing just the beginning, wondering how their personal fable ends. As a tech teacher, I got kids for K-8 and always thought I was very lucky to see that growth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:44 am

      I would have to imagine you would get pleasure in knowing that some followed in your path, Jacqui. There are quite a few of my prior students who became teachers. I’ve probably already told you this, but one I got to teach with for the last few years of my career. That was pretty cool!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Didn’t know that! How very cool. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

        Liked by 1 person

  13. wonderful post, Pete. I enjoyed learning about what your former students are up to. I am sure they are thrilled that you have taken the time to find out about what they are up to. It’s nice to see that they have kept a positive attitude, despite the challenges of the past year. I think I was in my early 50s when I finally decided to try getting my hair cut somewhere else besides a barbershop. I now go to Hair Cuttery, but I just use whatever stylist is available. I’m jealous of the relationship you have with yours! Loved the picture at the end…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 10:46 am

      Now I want full credit when I see a Borden’s Blather post about the statistical analysis of haircutting. 🤣 You know I follow you because of the eclectic nature of your posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. the eclectic nature is due to my sense of desperation when looking for anything I can find to write about 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 3:18 pm

        That is a good part of the charm of your blog. One never knows what you will find to write about today.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. thanks, Pete. Like you, I had read that blogs need to have a focus. I don’t think I could stick to a single topic, at least not if I want to write something every day…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. petespringerauthor April 28, 2021 — 7:44 pm

        I’ve read a couple of books about blogging, and I don’t agree with some of their recommendations. I think uniqueness is a huge selling point. There are thousands of blogs that are strictly self-promotion. I understand that there’s going to be some of that if you are trying to sell an item or service, but I find that gets rather tedious quickly.

        Another suggestion I’ve read is always blogging on the same day and time. I’m not that organized, and sometimes the inspiration just isn’t there. That’s one of the things that makes your streak particularly noteworthy. By the way, I wouldn’t want to be the one that causes the Borden streak to end. (Kind of like I don’t want to put the first scratch on my wife’s BMW.) 😊 If falling and fracturing bones won’t stop you, what will?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m not that organized either; if I was, I’d love to get my blog done first thing in the morning, so I’m not thinking about it all day and not getting to it until 10 at night many times.

        And one of my plans when I beat Cal Ripken’s record is to start occasionally publishing some of my older posts that I personally liked but that many of my current readers have never read.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post, Pete! I love how you stay in touch with some of your students and continue to support them still! Tony and I have been cutting each other’s hair for years, but looking at your glamorous pictures I am now questioning our decision 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 1:32 pm

      I can just picture my wife and I having enormous fun cutting each other’s hair. “Where did I put my bowl?” I have to tell you about one of those sad moments that happened at school. One time this mischievous little bugger came into my class (I think 5th grade), extremely proud of his shaved head. It was an unusual reaction as many kids are extremely self-conscious about haircuts at that age. Many wanted to wear a sweatshirt hood over their head all day, which of course brought all kinds of attention. “Mr. Springer, why is _______________ wearing a hood in class?” I asked the boy about his haircut, and he said his mom shaved it all off because she was tired of dealing with his head lice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yikes! It sounds like a very effective treatment though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Great write up Pete. I always heard it was bartenders. But then, I don’t frequent bars and haven’t had a haircut in barbershop for 15 years. My wife just trims an inch or two off the pony tail a couple times a year. Was thinking about getting one last year, then COVID came along and that wasn’t possible. Maybe this fall. Then I’ll find out about the listening. As for former students, in my case it’s members of the faith organization I belong to who thank me for words of encouragement from me from years ago that brings a smile of appreciation to my face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 1:38 pm

      It’s always nice to be appreciated. That’s great that you made a difference in their lives, John.

      Nice to have your hair trimmed at home. I remember my dad giving us haircuts at home with an electric shaver. I don’t recall if he used to do all of us the same day (I’m the youngest of four boys), but that shaver got pretty hot by the time he got to me.

      Like

  16. Pete, this is so terrific! It reminds me of the British “7 Up” documentary film series that captured a group of young children every 7 years…now I believe at 63 years old…and the successes and sadness in equal parts, because some are destined for happiness and others just seem to have obstacles they can’t overcome…the fact that you care about the lives you have helped mold at such an early age is phenomenal – bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 1:42 pm

      I did consider writing a book about the outcomes of some of my students, but I don’t think there is quite enough material there. Your connection with Kelly Clarkson made me think of this—one of my fifth-grade students is Jennifer Lopez’s nanny. I’m not privy to any good stories, though. Her dad is our accountant, and he always gives us an update.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Aw I love that you took the time to introduce us to all three wonderful former students and your amazing long-time stylist! I think it’s so great that you care so much about former students and how their lives turned out, it speaks volumes about who you are and what you did for a living for many, many years. I can see why your former students admire you! Also, your covid haircut is my husband’s non-covid haircut lol.. Would you believe he never trusted me to just shave his head??? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 1:49 pm

      A lot of guys can pull off that look pretty well. My wife was like, “Yeah, it’s okay.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. When genetics or time takes the rest of my hair, at least I got a preview of things to come.

      All of a sudden, I had a vision of Jaws music and a movie preview, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…” What can I tell you? My mind is a confusing place sometimes. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Kudos to you and your awesome and inspiring students, Pete! Love the photos and stories past and present. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 1:57 pm

      None of these outcomes were shocking. The stories I like the best are the unexpected happy ending. I’m sure you can relate, Bette.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I enjoyed reading about the success stories of your students. It’s always wonderful when someone finds their passion in life and goes for it! I still have my Covid hair; I badly need to venture out to my stylist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 7:15 pm

      That’s impressive! You’re a real holdout, Liz! Pat of the reason for shaving my head had to do with being in the pandemic. I figured if it looked terrible, I’d be at home anyway. 😊

      I knew you’d get the feeling one gets when you see somebody following their dreams. All of a sudden, they’re all grown up and mature.

      Like

      1. I tended toward the germ-phobic before the pandemic, so I’m not ready to venture back out.

        I’ve had that experience my daughter as well, all grown-up and firing people!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. How interesting to see what has happened to your students. I think this is only possible if you live in a town. I have only ever seen one of my teachers ever as an adult and that was at a funeral. I think it is quite nice that you have such a lovely community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 28, 2021 — 9:06 am

      It does involve putting yourself out there. When I run into former students somewhere, I often can picture them with their friends when they were in my class. It’s quite interesting to see how many retain their friendships over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Gosh, what goes on in the life of a teacher. Wow. Awesome. My claim to fame, I had a Super Cuts haircut once, I think it was in Burbank, California. I forgot all about it. Well done the medal of honour winner. fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 28, 2021 — 9:38 am

      One of the other funny things about my relationships with former students (and even their parents) is it is literally impossible for them to call me Pete. I gave up trying a long time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am of the old school (old!) in that I can never bring myself to call anyone much older then me by their first names. I cannot be so familiar. I grew up when everyone was Mr or Mrs, Sir and if a neighbour, then Aunty or Uncle. A respect thing. My teachers are most likely dead but I cannot imagine they would ever have allowed us to call them by their first names, even years after we’d all left school. Some of them fought in WW2! One or two were ‘hippie’ types, late 1960s and were beginning to infiltrate the school, but when I left they were on a tight rein. The times they are a changing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor April 29, 2021 — 5:36 am

        I certainly understand the respect angle. We were always taught the same thing to address adults as Mr. or Mrs. I was referring more to when they became adults and were, in a sense, on the same level.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LOL In would still call them Mr or Mrs. Even when I have been asked not to. Guess it is the convent school upbringing. Can never escape it.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Since I taught at a college with students from all over, and especially since we changed coasts, I never run into my students. Fortunately, as visual artists, many have web sites so I can see what they have been up to. I love the cut Christian gave you. My husband got a real haircut too a week ago and the stylist asked him if he was cutting his own hair. He blamed me. She knows me, so she had a good laugh. I guess You Tube isn’t as good as a trained stylist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 28, 2021 — 1:41 pm

      Haha! It’s a good thing that barbers/stylists have to go to school to learn about haircuts. I remember talking about this with you once before. I shaved my head for about two months. I did enjoy rolling out of bed and not having a wild bird’s nest up there. 🤣 I could live with being bald or having hair. My wife seems to prefer a hairy husband.😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Me too. Of course we have to look at you guys!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. petespringerauthor May 1, 2021 — 5:18 pm

        🤣🤣🤣 We’re a sight to behold.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Great post and tribute to your students and Sharon! So nice that you have been able to reconnect with some of your students this way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 29, 2021 — 5:43 am

      I realize the reason I enjoyed writing this article so much was that it was about them. I hadn’t planned on writing a newspaper article, including quotes, but that’s what came out. I don’t think I’ve ever written a post this long before. I typically stay away from long posts because I don’t think most people want to read that much, but there was no way to condense it since I wrote about four different stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. It is so rewarding to see your students following their dreams. Well done to all of them and to you for encouraging them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 29, 2021 — 11:44 am

      Isn’t it the best feeling when our young charges grow up, and we can see that they turned out so well? I remember your last piece about the student who came back to give you one last hug.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I met that student in London a few years later and she was studying to become a dentist! It is a great feeling to know one had a small part in their success.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. As soon as I saw the photo of ‘therapy is expensive, get a haircut instead, we’re good listeners’ I knew this post would be wonderful. Then, it got even better! How you compared teaching to watching a two-hour drama, only seeing the first fifteen minutes, and wanting to see how the story plays out was absolutely perfect. That’s how it is! The story of your students makes me want to be a cheerleader. They all had a dream, worked hard, and never gave up, even when life got in the way. I am ‘filled up’ because you got to see the end of a wonderful movie.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor April 29, 2021 — 7:30 pm

      We’re educators because we believe that most of the kids will be stars in the end. As you well know, sometimes a little belief can go a long way, both from teachers and students.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. HI! I read this a couple of days ago but couldn’t reply on my phone (which is misbehaving). So, I just reread. So inspiring and so NEAT to keep up with former students and applaud them for their passion and success. I think since the pandemic, hair stylists and hair salon owners are getting a lot more respect. They were so missed, when we couldn’t use their services. Plus, many of us (many of my friends included) tried to cut/color/manage their own hair to harrowing results. Let’s just say, as soon as their salons opened, they hightailed it there. My hairstylist is a wonderful woman – not just a great cutter of hair, but conversationalist and “watcher of human behavior” as well. We have some great discussions. My guy goes to Samantha as well (I directed him there) 🙂 HIs cuts are in the morning, mine on the same day in the afternoon. We compare notes later, and we have two extremely different conversations with Sam. His is business advice (she’s opening up her own shop); mine is love advice (she just broke up with her boyfriend. :–)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 30, 2021 — 8:07 am

      We may start having that happen too. My wife’s long-time stylist has a medical situation that has gotten in the way of cutting hair, so my wife was looking for a referral from one of her friends. It turned out the referral was for Kiersten, and she booked an appointment.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Another wonderful post, Pete, highlighting extraordinary students (and Sharon) who have followed their dreams and made a difference in the lives of others. I can imagine that after years and years of visiting routinely over a haircut, some close relationships develop. Once again, thanks for your thoughtfulness is sharing the stories of some memorable people in your life. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 2, 2021 — 8:54 am

      It’s just so much fun to hear the end of these stories. Over the weekend, I heard from one of my former students who wanted me to know she was about to graduate from high school (I taught her in 3rd grade) and her plans moving forth. It never gets old.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Another inspiring article, Pete – lovely young people with so much courage to follow their dreams and establish their own businesses. Toni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 3, 2021 — 8:10 am

      I’m a sucker for happy endings. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Toni.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. How wonderful these stories are Pete, and I’m sure you being their teacher had an impact!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 3, 2021 — 8:41 pm

      My relationships with my students will always be important to me. Sometimes all a child needs to know is someone is cheering for and rooting them on. Showing you care is one of the biggest parts of the job. I always wanted my students to feel cared for, safe and loved when they were in my room.

      In this week of Teacher Appreciation Week, I am so glad that you highlighted Jennie, Kim. Without blogging, I never would have met her. I’m so grateful to be part of a profession with people like her.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Hey Pete! I love these stories! How amazing isn’t it to see our students years later all grown up? I love happy endings so thanks for sharing them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 3:13 pm

      These are what I call the delayed rewards of teaching. I do frequently run into former students in my day-to-day activities. We lose contact with many when they move away, but I will occasionally still get a phone call, email, or Facebook request from an old student. It’s nice to hear about the latest chapter in their lives, as well as the ten or more I might have missed in between.

      Like

      1. I love that too! Nothing like hearing a good story from a former student! 🙂 Keep inspiring them from afar!

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Lovely bios and recap on your students and hairdresser Pete. You should have been a great historian! And I will add, our hairdressers are very important. 🙂 And I’m severely missing mine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 6, 2021 — 7:08 pm

      My “hairdresser” will be out of a job before too much longer. 🤣 I hope the days are getting to be a little easier for you, my friend. I’m glad to hear that you’re going to be taking a trip.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Pete. I’m hoping to take a trip, but we’re still in lockdown, airports still locked down, a bloody mess here for sure. I’m hiding out away from the world in my loneliness cleaning out the remnants of our life and going to move in a few months. The universe seems to be leading me where it thinks I need to go, either that or ‘an angel’ from above, because I’m just going through the motions. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor May 7, 2021 — 7:42 am

        We’re flying to Montana today to go see our son. It’s the first real trip for us since the pandemic started.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow! Please be safe! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Pete, as usual, this is a great story. In thinking about the various topics you have written about in your blog, I hope you are saving all your stories. I see the possibility of putting them all together in an interesting story potpouri, for a book, kind of a readers digest of interesting life stories. I like the wide variety of topics, and the human interest you bring out in them. I especially liked the first sentence you began this story with. It was a terrific simile, and very on point – from a teacher’s point of view.
    Kent

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor May 9, 2021 — 8:12 pm

      I appreciate your comments, Kent. I’ve decided that my favorite thing to write about is people, especially those with whom I’ve crossed paths in life.

      Things are beginning to feel a little more normal now. I went back to the gym for the first time in over a year. Debbie and I are in Helena, Montana, right now visiting our son.

      Like

  33. What a cool post, Pete. I’m so glad you shared all this. Thanks for the smiles it gave me. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 13, 2021 — 9:39 am

      These are some of the delayed rewards of being a teacher. I have to know how some of these stories end.

      Like

  34. Thanks for sharing this. I wanted to share this video with you which was done last year during the pandemic. i see that there is still fear around and would like you to share this with someone needing hope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgmLeE_qd3o

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor June 13, 2021 — 2:46 pm

      Thank you, Sophia. I watched your YouTube presentation and loved the “fear not” message. Thanks for your hopeful message.

      Like

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