Yes. My students were exchanging Snapchats. I know what you're thinking. I rolled my eyes, too, as they started grabbing sticky notes and passing around their usernames. Some even asked me if I had one (yes, but I place a social media moratorium on current students.) But then I started to listen. This is what I heard:
"Do you want mine? I want to keep in touch with everyone over break."
"Sure! That'd be fun. I'll miss you guys."
"Here's mine, too."
"We have a group chat called Mrs. Barber's Class. I'll add you."
Oh, these SWEETIES! They wanted to stay connected! Our bond has grown so strong that they were actually going to miss each other this week. Mind you, this wasn't between BFFs or among one sub-group of friends; they reached out across racial, socio-economic, friendship, and gender lines. And that group chat??? Oh, they got me there. It was in that precise moment that I realized: we are a team. A unit. A squad, as my kids would say. They care about each other so much that they want to communicate outside of school. It made me want to give them my username.