To my students (past and present),
I speak for most teachers, when I say that we get caught up in the craziness of our jobs - teaching standards and skills, pushing you to be prepared, crunching on deadlines, and attending meetings -- that we forget to tell you how thankful we are for each and everyone of you. We show it through hard work, smiles, high-fives and tough talks, but we don’t say it nearly enough.
I know that middle school is not always easy. It can be tough. It can be a time when you are figuring out who you are, and where your place will be in the world, a time when you feel like a puzzle with missing pieces waiting to be complete. Please know, that as your teachers, we choose to be here with you in this moment. We love middle school because of you. We love seeing your enthusiasm, watching you come into your own, experiencing your victories over challenges, and even being there for the struggles as you tackle new things. Middle school can be messy and it’s supposed to be. It’s a time to learn from mistakes; to try new things. We don’t expect you to be perfect, but we push to get a little closer to your best self each day.
I also don’t think you realize how much your teachers learn from you. I have learned what resolve looks like from students who enter my classroom knowing little English. I have learned what strength and grace is from students who struggle with chronic illness. I have learned what kindness is from students who go out of their way to help others. I have learned what pure joy is from students who celebrate the little things in life. I have learned about other cultures and lands from students who have lived in places that I will likely never have the opportunity to visit. I have learned from my students’ creativity and insights. I have stood in awe of the things my students are able to accomplish at such a young age -- things that I will never do. Ultimately, I have learned that our future is in good hands, and that people who underestimate your generation, don’t know you.
You don’t understand that you are our life’s work. Some people design buildings, others create new medicines, some protect our citizens, others sell products, and some write books or articles. Teachers have our students. When we finish our careers, we don’t have things to point to as accomplishments. Instead, we have people. I am so comforted by the thought that when I am gone -- that you will be still be here in the world, and just maybe a little of what I taught you will stick with you, and just maybe that will help someone else. We, teachers, are changing the world one day at at time and you are that change.
I am proud of you and no matter where you are, I am here cheering for you, rooting you on from the halls of KMS. Your teachers believe in you always and we are thankful to be a part of your life and I am thankful beyond measure that you have changed mine.
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