I want to thank you for everything that you have done for me. So often, at the end of the year, I receive a letter of thanks, or a hug with a thanks. I am forever grateful for those, but I wonder if you ever realize the impact you have on me. This letter is to all the students that I have worked with.
I want to thank you for challenging me in ways that have encouraged me to think differently to how I approach teaching and working with young people. I want to thank you for encouraging me, and challenging me, to not give up in the face of adversity-either when working with other human beings or with myself. Thank you for getting in my face and questioning my intentions and to whom those intentions were for. Thank you for causing me sleepless nights to consider in what ways could I change my approaches to help you succeed.
Thank you for your persistence. You have taught me that persistence is important in learning, in teaching, and in relationship building. Persistence to push me to come up with new ways to challenge you to think differently, think harder, and try new things. Thank you for encouraging me to take risks. If I didn't take risks, personal and professional, we might not have ever met, and then I wouldn't be writing this letter to you. Thank you for letting me make mistakes, and letting try again. Thank you for your patience with me as I navigate new curriculum. Thank you for letting me learn alongside with you.
Thank you for teaching me when I didn't know or understand something. I really appreciate that you are ok being the teacher sometimes because I learn a lot from you. I have learned what it means to fall down, struggle to get back up, and phone a friend for help. I have learned that sometimes the love we feel isn't from the people we think it should come from, so instead we have to rely on others for that. I have learned that sometimes, school just isn't the most important thing and that day to day survival is what matters most.
I want to thank you, my students, for pushing me to be better. I have watched as you work with your peers with empathy and compassion. I have watched you challenge each other in friendly and critical conversations. I have watched you grapple with situations that are far out of your control and are bigger than what you should have to deal with in your young years. I have learned that humanity does exist and that we can all be better if we stop, listen, and learn from each other.
I want to thank you for keeping me humble. Too often we pride ourselves in getting you to work, but you have kept me working. You demand a lot from me, always asking for more and wanting to do more. It's amazing. You are all incredible human beings.
Finally, I want to thank you for letting me walk beside you as your teacher. We don't always get a whole lot of say in who we work with, but each and every single one of you has taught me how to be a better person. I hope you know that.