Imagine the feeling of surprise you would get receiving a letter in the mail as a senior in high school that you wrote to yourself when you were in the fourth grade.
About 28 Solanco High School seniors who were students in former teacher Tracy White's fourth-grade class at Quarryville Elementary School are about to receive the letter they wrote to themselves telling them what they were like as fourth-graders.
White, who started her teaching career at Quarryville Elementary School as a student teacher, taught there from 1997 until 2002, when she left to raise a family.
The Solanco Class of 2006 is the first class she taught at Quarryville Elementary.
"You just always remember your first class," said White, who lives in Lancaster with her husband Tim, their 3-year-old son Elijah, and 2-month-old son Judah. "They were a lot of fun and it was a great way to start my teaching career. It's hard to believe they're graduating."
White said she got the idea for the letter writing project, titled, "Future Writing," from a magazine. The only difference was the one in the magazine involved middle school students writing letters to themselves.
She said in the letter, her former students wrote about what their hobbies were, their favorite foods and who they were friends with. They also drew a picture to go along with their letter.
"It was difficult for them to think that far ahead," she said. "I told them 2006 seemed so far away."
One of her students, Jordan Marsh, wrote about playing basketball, she said. Marsh did end up playing basketball for the Solanco Mules.
White said she kept the letters in a filing cabinet for all those years and marked it down on her three-year planner when she wanted to send them.
Although some of the students have since moved out of the school district, they did write their addresses on the envelope and some of the parents provided White secondary addresses where the letters could be sent to.
To show a lot has changed in the eight years since they were fourth-graders, the 32-cent postal stamp they affixed to the letters when they wrote them now cost 39 cents.
Another change is that when White first started teaching, the principal was Austin Kreeger. After that, Kathleen Hood was principal and now it's Jim O'Brien.
"It was a great place to work," she said.
White said she wrote a cover letter about herself and what she's doing now that were included with the students' letters, which are about to be mailed. Although she's no longer teaching in the public school system, she works with homeschool students as a homeschool evaluator, tester and private reading tutor.
"I still am in education, but am able to stay at home with our family and I plan to homeschool our kids as well," she said.
When asked what she expects from the letters she sent to her former students, she replied, "I'm hoping to hear from some of them."