Friday was our last official day of class. I got the idea from Kelsey to write my students a goodbye letter. This year feels so final with my transferring schools and many of the students that I have taught for three years graduating and moving on with their lives, I wanted to leave them with a little something special.
I thought and thought about what to say to those young uns as closing words. Mostly I just wanted them to know how great I think they are. High school is a messed up time of life. Everyone's trying so hard to fit in and to live up to some impossible ideal. They are so uncomfortable in their own skin and they make lots of bad decisions and some good decisions. They can appear snotty on the outside, but underneath it all they're just vulnerable, sensitive kids- kids who need to be loved and need to know how totally great they are.
So that was my goal.
I couldn't help but cry as I read it to them. These kids really do mean the world to me.
Before we say goodbye forever, I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am that I could be your teacher this year. I hope you know how much happiness you bring into my life and how much I genuinely enjoy teaching you. I absolutely love English, but even more than English, I love you guys. I can’t tell you how many days I have been ornery/ stressed/ frustrated and have come to work and have had you make me laugh and forget those stresses.
I hope you won’t forget the good times we have had in this class: the time you all wrote down that you wanted to take underwater basket weaving for a class, the time Kai blurted out the answer to the quiz, (in the middle of the quiz!), or the time Federico told us that in Italy he reads books about nuns having sex with nuns. (WHAT?!?) I will never forget the deep discussions we have had in class, listening to Elliot rap, going to the movies together (twice!) and the time I made you all sing and dance to Les Mis! Suckers! This class had a chemistry that is truly rare for high school and I hope you will always remember it fondly because I know I will. This fourth period class is one of my favorite classes in my history of teaching.
You have amazed me by your brilliance. I hope that no matter where your future takes you, you will continue the learning process- keep reading, keep writing, keep seeking knowledge. The more we know the better people we become and I believe that. I would hope that you would be open minded and NEVER STOP LEARNING!
I believe that a student at Copper Hills is really a unique type of teenager. You are all so kind and accepting of others… and even nice to your teachers! I know you all have your individual struggles and battles, but the way you treat each other and this school should be praised. I know I didn’t feel a sense of unity at my high school near what there is here at Copper Hills. It is going to sound cheesy, but I think you are absolutely capable of doing anything in the world that you want to. Work hard in your next journey, set goals and do everything in your power to achieve them, and remember how smart you are! I would not be surprised to hear fantastic things from all of you- I know your potential!
Keep in touch with me! I look forward to receiving mission announcements, marriage announcements, and even future baby announcements! (YIKES!) Share your accomplishments with me- you must know that as a teacher, I take great joy in seeing the good that you have done with your lives. You can come visit me anytime at my new school.
I really do love you (in the most appropriate way that a teacher can love a bunch of teenagers) and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me be your teacher. You are an incredible group of students that have forever changed my life.
KEEP IN TOUCH!