I have never written a letter to my students before, but I feel after this past semester it is warranted. This semester was arguably the most enjoyable time I have ever spent in a classroom. When I reflect on the past five months I can’t tell you how much fun I had, how much I learned, and how easy you made my life. I refuse to believe that our future is not bright when I see what you all bring to the table each day. You guys were caring, thoughtful, and helpful to both me and your fellow colleagues. I hope I am right here because when I am old and gray you’ll be looking after me, a scary thought, but I trust you (I think!).
This past semester you kids cracked me up, you made me angry at times, you made me proud, you inspired me and you even brought me to tears at times. I thought I would keep this simple and mention a few stories from the past few months that stood out and offer thanks to each of you who left a significant impression on me.
- The student who in the middle of class did an interesting little dance involving some pelvic thrusts after doing the best he had done all year on a unit test. Then immediately picked up his phone and called his father to give him the good news. One of my favourite classroom moments ever!
- The student who on the day before Christmas break wrote a test and received a score that was less than what she would have wished and left my class in tears. I felt like the Grinch needless to say…Then when I got home there was an email from this student. She felt bad about having a mini breakdown and wanted to make sure I knew how much she respected me and appreciated how much I helped her this year and how much I care about my students.
- The student who asked if she could host a baby shower for my future child. Then immediately the other student who asked if they could babysit.
- The student who got 100% on a test and immediately said to me “whacha gonna do ’bout it.” I am still not sure how to respond…
- The students who come to my tutorials day after day and work their butts off. You are amazing and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Work ethic is crucial in life, perhaps the most important thing. I may not be a millionaire but I have the most amazing job in the world. I got here by working harder than the guy sitting next to me. Work ethic > IQ , in my humble opinion.
- The student who always questioned me and asked ‘when are we ever going to use this.’ I can’t thank you enough. You pushed me to think, to research, to eliminate stuff that was not relevant and to be honest and tell you when we never would use this stuff but still needed to learn it.
- The students who brought me Starbucks.
- The students that were my peer-tutors. You took time out of your busy schedule to help your colleagues in a subject that you thrive in.
- The student who tweeted me and told me she was excited to have my class first thing after Christmas vacation.
- The students who allowed me to share in their fame and make one of the ugliest ‘selfies’ ever, so good (or perhaps bad) we won a prize for our efforts!
- The students who during pot luck created dishes with pi inspired themes, delicious!
- The student who is putting up a good fight to have me name my baby Pheobe, short for Fibonacci.
- The student who destroyed me with short jokes whenever he could, well played.
- The student who got hit by a car on the way to my tutorials, went home, changed, and still came in an hour before class started to work on math.
- The student who allows me to, kinda, call her by her famous alias.
- The student who failed his first three tests, who then did a re-test on all three and ended up with a B in the course. You taught me that it’s not how you start, but rather how you finish.
- The students who gave me a round of applause on our last full day together. Some who I have taught for 3 years!
I thank you all again for an amazing semester. I hope you learned something about math along the way, gained an understanding for how you learn, and had a little fun. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and encourage you to come by and say hi. The greatest honour for a teacher is having students come back and tell you how their lives are going.