AN OPEN LETTER TO MY STUDENTS
It's the Saturday before the first day of school.
All I can think about is Monday.
The early morning hour of arriving to school.
The anxiety and excitement pulsing through everyone, teachers and students alike.
To my students-
I cannot wait to meet you.
To those I have already taught and am so blessed to teach again, I've missed you and can't wait to see you again.
To my now past students who have graduated, I miss you more than you know.
An unbreakable bond was created and an overwhelming sense of "that's my kid" was established.
It's strange to think that I won't walk into my room and see all 21 of your faces, rowdy and ready to start the day.
I have been so blessed to teach each and every one of youl for two years.
I am now leaving my comfort zone.
My kids for the past two years are now off on their own, doing great things in this world.
I am so so proud.
Yet, selfishly, I wish I was walking into my room with y'all waiting on me on Monday.
Each of you grew with me over the past two years.
Y'all probably didn't realize how much I needed y'all and became dependent on our everyday routines together.
I stopped crying over the past.
I became more confident in who I am as an educator.
We met with state politicians, traveled out of state for field trips, and won competitions.
We discussed the state of education in our country, the challenges educators face, and how we as educators can change this profession for the better.
I met someone new and became engaged.
Every week we shared our positives and challenges from the week before.
We cried together on the last day of school.
And lastly, we walked the stage together.
The other day one of my students who graduated a few years ago came to visit and help me set up my classroom.
We discussed just about everything, his moving away for college, what he was looking forward to, his family, his plans to become a teacher, why I started blogging, what we hope for in the future for students and teachers.
And then he asked me, "But what about you? How are you doing?"
Wow, what a caring question for a twenty-year-old to ask.
I explained how construction at the school this summer has driven me crazy, the rush to set up the classroom just how I want it and what my students deserve it to be, and lastly how much I miss my students.
"Each year it gets more and more difficult for me. It is like a physical ache that you carry with you when your students leave."
So, on this Monday, the first day of the new school year, while I am smiling and so excited to meet each of you, my brand new kids, I am missing the rest of my kids.
To all of my kids, past and present-
I love you,
you will do amazing and unimaginable things,
you will meet challenges and overcome them,
you will (continue to) meet and surpass the high expectations set for you,
you will make mistakes (plenty of them), but that's how you will learn,
you will work hard, because with no effort there are no results (good results at least),
you will push the boundaries, because we all need to get out of our comfort zone,
you will be an advocate for causes you're passionate about,
you will change the world.
You are the present and the future.
Here's to the new year ahead of us.