To Claire and Class


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.

With love,

Mom to Claire, Ms. Keeler to the rest of you




14 thoughts on “To Claire and Class

  1. This struck a chord with me. I’m retiring at the end of this year, and leaving with the group of grade sevens who started kindergarten at the same time I started in the library. I read I wish you more to last year’s class and am not sure if I can get away with reading it again this year.


  2. Loved reading this post, Lisa, and I LOVE Amy’s book! The way you wove in the memory of returning to the classroom was really powerful. I can picture you working on getting your teaching legs, as well as welcoming the kids into your kitchen and patio!


  3. What a wonderful way to share your feelings with Claire and the world. Graduation can be a hectic and bittersweet time. I have three adult daughters and having adult children is great! All my best as you look to the future.


  4. Your wishes for Claire and her peers were so beautifully written! As a mom and teacher (my older son was in my fifth grade class and again in my seventh grade class), it’s special to have your child in your school. When my boys left middle school and moved onto high school, I felt a mixture of pride and sadness. I missed seeing their faces every day! Your letter brought back that sweet nostalgia.


  5. This class brought you back into teaching, and look at all that’s been accomplished since then. I wish all students would feel the love of a teacher like you throughout their journey of education. Beautiful thoughts for all kids.


  6. Beautiful, Lisa. I can’t imagine what it feels like (yet) to see your daughter accomplish such a milestone. Your letter is perfect, and I do hope you pass it on to your daughter and her friends.


  7. Lisa, first of all congratulations on being one of the newest members of the Two Writing Teacher Team. Second, your letter is lovely and filled with many thoughtful comments that I am sure your daughter and friends will appreciate. Life is full of sweetness and joy if we celebrate it. Have a great day.


  8. Oh, this made me cry, good tears. My Claire left my elementary school seven years ago this week. We have shared a similar experience, you and I. Having your girl with you. You venture into teaching as she ventures into school. Those lovely kiddos will come back. Lots of these Kodak moments are in front of you.


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