THIS was the email I received today, from an intern I had TEN years ago. I loved her more than I can say, cause she was ME TO A TEE. She challenged me, frustrated me, lifted me and reminded me that life is GOOD. (Here's the note...)
Dear Mrs. Smythe and Smythe County Graduating Class of 2012,
You are the reason I remain in education today. Period. Mrs. Smythe, as my cooperating teacher, beyond all the technical and professional aspects of becoming a classroom teacher, you showed me the importance of love, laughter, and fun in our second grade classroom. I can’t begin to count the number of times we laughed with our students, with each other, and at ourselves. How many times did we find ourselves doubled over, with tears streaming down our faces because we both found something downright hysterical? How many times did our entire class burst into giggles because of something silly that one of us managed to do? It wasn’t scientific or something that one could even study, but you always remembered the importance of having fun, enjoying what the day brought, and loving your students. You created a warm, upbeat environment and I continue to try to create that environment wherever I find myself to this day. It is easy to become wrapped up in the uptight world of standardized testing, irate parents, and frustrated teachers, however, I continue to remind myself that it’s ok to take a deep breath and laugh a little. I am lucky that you continue to crack me up to this day!
As far as you, class of 2012, you have certainly come a long way in the past ten years! It seems like yesterday we were all navigating the unknown world of sink and float, odd and even, and reading Magic Tree House books together. When I was graduating, you all wrote me letters filled with advice for graduation day and beyond. Now, it’s my turn to share some of that advice back with you. Remember, on graduation day, smile and be proud of yourself, and try not to spin the little tassel on your hat during graduation - it will distract you! When you get your first job: do your best, don’t be late, and don’t give up! When you throw your hat up on graduation day, give it some power, and finally, ALWAYS smile, eat a healthy breakfast, wear something under your gown, and HAVE FUN!!
You are truly a unique group of individuals who has proven to me that education can and should be filled with fun, love, and laughter! As promised, I will see you on graduation day!