By Guest Blogger Kelly Nichols, former Elementary School teacher
It happens without fair warning. Days get longer, weather gets warmer, flowers bloom, and the busyness of spring is here. If March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, then the end of the school year bowls us over like a steamroller. Taking a moment to blink means you’ve missed something.
Even with the best of intentions, I fall short of ending with flare. Whoever said “It’s better to burn out than to fade away” would be highly disappointed in my endings. I fade away. Maybe because I don’t like endings. I don’t know for certain. The best I can do? Here’s an open letter to all my students.
Dear Precious Ones,
I want you to know how grateful I am to have been your teacher. Know without a doubt how much happiness you have brought into my life. Every moment, every day has been filled with boundless joy. As much as I enjoy teaching, know that I have enjoyed you more; your laughter, your ideas, your personality, your uniqueness.
You have amazed me by your brilliance. I have also loved challenging you, even frustrating you, pushing you further than you ever imagined only to see a spark of understanding flash across your face. Your expressions radiate new knowledge. You have grown, you have matured, and you are better today than yesterday. My wish is that you keep seeking knowledge; keep asking, keep searching, keep reading, keep analyzing, keep building. Keep the joy in learning and never stop.
Forgive me the times I was not what you needed. I know there were times I was not patient, times that the clock seemed more important than you, times my words were not enough. Know that I am sorry.
Even though I was the official teacher in the class, you also taught me something new every day. Hugs are essential. Learning happens in a positive atmosphere. Post-It notes provide endless entertainment. Laughter is necessary. Slowing down is a good thing. Just because they aren’t my plans doesn’t mean they aren’t perfect.
I am certain you are absolutely capable of doing anything in the world that you want to. Please carry with you the passion, the perseverance, and the dedication you exhibited daily for me. Work hard in your next journey, set goals and do everything in your power to achieve them, and remember how smart you are! I will not be surprised at your success, I know who you are! You have forever changed my life!
You are always one of mine,