On my last day of being a teacher to 29 eighth graders, I left this note for them on the board while they were at a special. I left it for them because I knew I couldn’t verbalize how important they and this year was to me. I didn’t know that this would actually be my last day teaching ever. I left teaching for a career change this summer so this truly was the last day.
The image quality sucks and so this is what is says:
“The class of 2015, graduates as of June 1, 2015,
When it comes to serious emotions, you know by now I have a lack of works unless these words are written aka I am a writing major. At the end of last year or when you were all little seventh graders, I started class mentioning to you a news topic. Little did I know that the entire class period would be spent in conversation. It was in this moment, I thought to myself, “Wow, I am really going to enjoy this class.” I was impressed and you all surpassed these expectations.
A week before school started, as many of you know, my father was diagnosed with cancer. Starting the year on this note was hard, but you all made it easier without even knowing it. The day I found out how bad it was was before you came in for recess. But at the “Hi Ms. Blythes” and “Ms. Blythesss” over my “shhhs” and “quiet in the hallway,” all became okay. And when I found out my grandmother had passed, we went outside for our beautiful art/nature drawings where you invited me to join you. We all laid down and laughed at our artistic talent…besides me because mine was amazing <- jokes right
While we were outside one of you asked me, “Ms. Blythe, how do I know I am alive?” And even surprising myself how fast I had an answer, I said, “When you are doing something worth living.”
You all make me know that I am living. I do not believe I have ever laughed as much with anyone as much as I have with all of you. You have made hard days fade away and allowed me to teach you/give you activities I only hoped would end well and you blew away the projects. I guess what I am trying to say is that as much as I have helped you, you have helped me.
I am so happy to have done so many things with you such as he poetry cafe, senior prom, Arlington when we were able to feel the effect of a funeral. Never have I bought an entire class coffee; what am I crazy !?! Nor have I had such long debates and question rounds during the politic campaign.
You are the first class I had at this school for me to have twice. You are the first class for me to teach Romanticism and Transcendentalism to here. Yes, you were my guinea pigs and you again understood it greatly. You truly are my cheering squad and each others. Even Pat was our only band member, yet every time his name was announced, everyone knew the eighth grade was there.
You are all talented even if you don’t see it, I do. And if you ever forget that, send me an email and I will remind you. Academically, artistic wise, athletic, creative, etc. You know I hop on my little soap box sometimes this year, but you know it is because I hope for several things for you.
I hope that you understand that racism has only led to destruction as all your history finals stated. Many of this may have started even as a joke so be mindful.
I hope you all find a passion in something even if it isn’t in school; I hope you are kind to all for you never know the story everyone has behind them. I hope you are accepting. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, let alone agree with everyone, but you better have a good reason why are are mean/cruel/ or leave anyone out. I hope you all visit and I hope you all remember this school. Yet, my most significant hope for all of you is that years from now if I run into someone and they end up knowing you is that I hear you are a good person. Being a good person matters the most in our world because our happiness is mostly shared through each other. Be a good person.
I will miss you all now, but especially on Tuesday when the gym is full for prayers besides you and when I enter my room alone. I will miss you, but I am extremely happy for you to enter your next step in life. I hope you love it.
I’ll miss you all.
I love you all.
(parentheses to the side tells a student not to correct my grammatical errors)
A few years has passed, yet nothing in these approve paragraphs have changed. They all still hold a special place in my heart and I still hope more than anything they are happy and know how “good enough” and incredible they all are.