My Facebook feed has shown little other than caps and gowns in the last month. Many, many former students graduated from college in the last few weeks, and today many Cobras will become alumni.
Let’s face it: this year has been interesting. New expectations of teachers in our school district — that we work in professional learning communities, that we align our teaching to the Common Core standards, that we demonstrate effective teaching through observations — well, your teachers have been more stressed than normal this year. And you all know how well I deal with stress. I was out so many days for various professional development activities, all with the hope that I would be a better teacher as a result; that seemed a bit counterintuitive, hm?
I’ve taught so many types of students this year. Some of you made me nuts from the first day of school, challenging every word that came out of my mouth. I managed to make some (many?) of you cry. I’ve had near shouting matches with some of you in the hallway outside of my classroom. Some of you hate me (although, I don’t think that those of you who hate me will actually read this). Some of you don’t think I’m not worth listening to, while some of you think too highly of me.
You are a resilient, determined, snarky, spirited group. Some of you have experienced more pain in 18 years than I have in 35. Some of you are gifted, as thinkers, writers, or workers, above anything that I’m capable of. Some of you make me want to cry for all the growth I’ve seen in the last four years. You make me want to work harder and be better for you.
To the class of 2014, I couldn’t be more proud to have taught you. Thank you for a year that caused me to grow, professionally and personally, above anything I could have expected. Thank you for challenging me to be a better teacher. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Thank you for working hard.