Each year at the end of the school year, I say goodbye to my seniors. And each year, I’ve written a letter to the seniors with some imparting thoughts as they go off in the world. And each year, the message in the letter stays fairly constant, even though the way I say my message might slightly change. It always goes something like this:
Knowledge is precious and vast, it keeps us curious and engaged in the world, and simple ideas can — when taken to their thoughtful conclusions — be extraordinarily powerful. And thought it may seem like we have forever to cull this knowledge, we don’t, so take advantage!
Without further ado, my letter to my seniors. I know, it always comes across as hokey. But when I get sentimental…
Another year, another wonderful letter to your seniors. Bravo!
– Elizabeth (aka @cheesemonkeysf on Twitter)
I am so sorry, but the perfectionist in me forces me to ask if there might be a typo?!
…And as Mr. Parent, my English (teacher???) told me in his letter for me, I hope you have “acourageous life journey bounded by and aware of entropic time.” …
Just wanted your letter to go out perfectly! Awesome job, sniff, sniff!
Awesome letter, and so inspiring, especially tonight. So this is going to sound so weird, but I wanted to share with you. I teach physics and started (tried – and did not do so well) the modeling method of teaching physics this year along with implementing SBG. So, 2 HUGE changes in a climate that has the greatest impedance to change that I have EVER seen. I got my evals and they really tore me apart, to the point of sobbing and making me question weather this is indeed the right profession for me. ( I am not a cryer and pride myself on having great composure, but this really rocked me to the core.) Anyway, I was in this deep funk and started returning e-mails to a couple of my students who had questions about their grade. I told them how proud I was of them and how much I knew they grew. This was so incredibly healing for me. Then I was reminded of your letter and thought that I would send each student a similar letter via e-mail/moodle. They are only juniors, and so the context would change slightly. But this had offered me so much healing, I can’t even begin to explain. Also, I hope that it will offer my students some hope that they did not waste their time in my class and that they indeed did learn something, and that they are not so hateful and resentful in the future. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you made my day, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Hihi, thanks for your note. It’s so hard to remember that teaching is *hard* emotionally and when you’re doing something new (e.g. modeling, SBG) it’s going to be even harder. I’m sorry this was such a hard year. To do modeling, well, I can’t imagine it going well initially in any circumstances, because it’s so different for you and more significantly, so so different for the kids. They aren’t used to it, and you’re just getting your bearings. They just want *the formula* and you’re like “this whole class is about figuring out the formulas!” Anyway, I think it’s sometimes hard to get kids to realize you and them are on the same side (and gosh knows, I don’t always succeed). So I hope this letter does that for them, but if not, it will at least remind you that you were doing what you thought was best for them. And you were growing as a teacher. I mean, if we don’t “take chances, make mistakes, get messy” in our quest to be better, we’ll never grow!
Now grab a cold beverage and relax because summer is here!