Yesterday I had to do one of the hardest things I’ve EVER had to do in my life. And I’ve done some pretty hard things in my life. But yesterday I had to say goodbye to my kids. No, No, No, I’m not going away to prison or anything like that. I know that’s what some of you were thinking; shame on you. No, I’m a middle school teacher and I’m transferring schools and I had to break the news to my students that I would not be returning after the Christmas break.
It broke my heart to tell them, and to fully understand my level of sadness, which by the way on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the least sad and 10 being the saddest, I’m at 837. My kids mean the world to me. They are the smartest, kindest, most talented, and most thoughtful students a teacher could ever ask for. Well most of them anyway. There’s one of two of them I had to check and make sure they were even from this planet. Just kidding, or “jk” as the kids would say. No, I’m serious. They would verbally say the letters “JK” out loud instead of saying “just kidding.” That’s why we love them though, right? But I digress.
I’ll never forget all the moments we’ve shared, good and bad. I would always tell them that I’m not just a teacher because I tried my best to teach them as much about life as I did the curriculum. When it came to solving problems, I taught them that sometimes they might have to change their perspective, which meant try looking at the problem in a different way or light. I taught them that growth happens when they step outside of their comfort zones. I taught them the importance of respecting themselves first and of respecting others. I taught them how a positive attitude can transform obstacles into opportunities, which again is a matter of perspective. But probably the most significant and important thing I did was I never let a week go by without telling them I loved them and that I cared.
It has been my experience that students who know their teacher cares about them are more engaged and happy to come to class. Those two factors alone provide a foundation of success for which students can build on and perform better in class.
The outpouring of love they showed me was quite overwhelming and I wish I could name each one of them in this post but I’m not trying to get fired from my new school before I even get there so I’ll just say this; You guys know who you are and I want you to know that as much of an impression I may have made on you, you guys definitely made an even GREATER impression on me, one that I will remember and cherish forever.
“A bell is not a bell till you ring it.
A song is not a song till you sing it.
Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay.
Love isn’t love till you give it away.”
-Oscar Hammerstein II
I’ve given you guys a lot of love since I’ve been here and I’ve gotten a lot in return from you. Now it’s time for other students to experience some of that same love too.
So, for the last time if I haven’t told you guys I love you lately, I love you.