This school year was, for lack for a better word, challenging. At times it felt like I had a careers worth of events thrown into just a few months making this year rather difficult. I won't bore you with the gritty details - I actually can't because of some sort of contract saying I won't talk crap about my former employment (haha) #technicalities. Anyway. I found myself getting too wrapped up in school politics and too worried about teacher ratings, being accepted, and how others saw me, rather than how I could make a lesson more interesting for my kids. Honestly, I left school feeling guilty for not giving it my "all" to my cherubs this year. I wish I spent less time worrying about things I can't change. I hate how this year felt like a chore. I never wanted my job to feel like a job. I hate how most days I struggled to get up and go to work. I hate how I let the pettiness of others effect my health (insert blog post, that I still need to write, about gaining weight as a teacher here). My friends and colleagues took time to give me job advice and even help me secure an interview but because of this year, I actually hoped that I wouldn't get another teaching job. I didn't want to feel vulnerable and small anymore. I wanted something safe. Something that wouldn't hurt if I messed up. If you're mad at me while reading this, please save your anger. I'm pissed at myself for wanting to give it up too.
Friday night, a few of my cherubs, my mom, Alex, and I, got together at an Italian place for sort of a "last supper" kind of deal. We all shared laughs, memories, and pasta 🙂 We took lots of pictures, wrote each other pointless stories about shapes, rolls were mistaken for corgi butts, and futures were discussed. When dinner seemed to be nearing its end, each student stood up and told me how I made them a better person, what they liked about my class, and how they'll miss me. It was beautiful. I couldn't believe that a bunch of teens took time to do this.
On the way home, I found myself saying, "I hope they understand I believe in them. I hope they actually keep me updated. I hope they realize how much I'll miss them." I don't want to spend another school year thinking about all the things I could've done differently. I don't want to keep beginning my sentences with "I hope" or "I'm sorry."
So let me start with this:
To my Englishy Friends-
Because of you, I know I can't give up being a teacher. When things get difficult, we never give up or surrender. I promise to always give it my all and to never again forget why I'm a teacher. Because of your actions, I know you appreciated my corniness and felt loved. I know now it's ok to not be perfect all the time and that I'm not funny. Like. Ever. Because of our conversations, I know you felt safe with me even though others betrayed your trust.
Friday night, I heard a lot of you say I helped you overcome events. I want you to know that every joke, conversation, note, hug, argument, fight, laugh, and cry session helped me too.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I love y'all too or something.