It’s Tuesday. Join us and share your Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers.
Dear Claire and your recently graduated class,
Las Friday you walked down the center aisle and up onto the stage in our school’s Convocation Center to receive your diplomas. Your time at our school came to an official end. I watched your faces as you walked in and processed out an hour later, and I saw everything from joy to uncertainty in your eyes. I thought about all the things I wanted to say to you right then, but that of course wasn’t possible, and when the ceremony was over, we were all awash in family and hugs, and cigars and whoops and gifts and Kodak moments. That wasn’t the time either. I know I will see a few of you over the summer, in my kitchen or on my patio, at the pool or at the mall. But that probably won’t be the time either.
So I’m writing you a letter instead. Here on my blog. Maybe I will send it to you as well.
First, thank you. Thank you for being a group so large in numbers right from the start that our school needed an extra first grade teacher. If you hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have been there either, and you were just the nudge I needed to reenter the classroom twelve years ago. You may not know this, but I was scared, feeling rusty and lacking confidence. Thank you for your patience as I found my teaching legs again. When you wrote sweet notes and drew pictures and offered hugs, I felt cheered on that first year as I caught up on best practices and new curriculums. You brought me back into the classroom, in a wonderful school, where I have grown and learned (not unlike you) and I thank you.
As you may remember, I love to read and I especially love picture books. And so the rest of what I have to say to you is inspired by one of my favorite picture books, “I Wish You More,” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
I wish you more time than alarms. I wish you more dreams than drudgery. I wish you more glam than glum. I wish you more open water than closed doors. I wish you more books to read than bills to pay. I wish you more “yes ands” than “yes buts.” I wish you more courage than cowardice. I wish you more careful listening than careless countering. I wish you more starry nights than stormy seas. I wish you good health, close friends, closer family, a dash of daring, growing wisdom, a sense for smart risks, and a healthy dose of grit.
As a group you are so loved and deeply admired by our school. Come back to visit, find us when you need us, and know that we are cheering you on as you enter the next chapter of your lives.
Mom to Claire, Ms. Keeler to the rest of you