How do I even begin to describe what you all mean to me? It has been such a joy to share this classroom with you this year. From the very first day of school, you all impressed me with your kindness, inclusiveness, and encouragement. As an introvert, starting a new school year is always anxiety-inducing for me. But I remember thinking from the beginning that I felt so at home with you all. And I was right.
I get emotional every year thinking about my students leaving and growing and making their own stamp on this world. But this year has been especially hard. This year the tears started early (the Saturday before graduation…what?). And that’s simply because you all have a very special place in my heart. While I’m so excited to see what life has in store for each of you, I also know that your departure leaves an emptiness not only in the four walls of our classroom, but also in my life. Your questions, your intelligence, your enthusiasm have made me not just a better teacher, but a better person. I repeat—I am better because of you.
I try to live by the philosophy that there’s no such thing as someone else’s kid. When I talk to others, that’s always what I call you: “my kids.” You have brought so much life and light into my life. I can’t imagine this room without you.
Over the last year, I’ve seen you pour over more FRQs than I can count; I’ve seen you cheer each other on as you’ve competed in the classroom, on the field, on the court, and on the stage. I’ve seen you share in each others’ joys and struggles; this has been one of the greatest gifts you could give me.
As you start your own adventures, there are a few things I’d like for you to remember. First, life is a gift—I cannot overemphasize how far gratitude will take you. Remember: “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” Focus on the good—even when you don’t want to (especially when you don’t want to). Second, always learn people’s stories. It’s cliché, but people really don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Stories are powerful; listen when people entrust you with theirs. Third, surround yourself with people who care about you and will sacrifice for you. We can’t choose what happens to us in life, but we can choose our closest friends. Finally, find what makes you happy and pursue it. Happy people make the world a better place.
You all are truly some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. Use your intelligence, your compassion, and your courage to serve those around you. I’ll be waiting here expectantly to hear of your journey—so don’t forget to keep me updated! If you ever need anything, I’m just a text or an email away.
Thank you, again, for letting me share in your life. Thank you for your hard work and your dedication to Union High School. I love and adore you. You are always in my heart and mind; you will always belong here. You are the reason I do what I do.
You are my One Good Thing.
Go light the world, Redskins.
“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” –Wicked