First, I want to say I’m sorry; I know this isn’t the way you wanted your year to end, in confusion and chaos, with really only one day’s notice that the end of the year is upon us. I mean, your summer holidays start early, and you don’t have to write your final exams, so it’s not all bad, I guess, but this is not the way your year, and for some of you your time at middle school, should end. You don’t deserve how this year is ending, and I wish it were different.
Next, I want to say congratulations on getting through another year of school. Success is different for everyone, and I know that each and every one of you were able to celebrate a number of successes through the year. Maybe it was straight As, maybe it was a victory on the rugby field or basketball court, and maybe it was getting through the year, and passing. I hope I was able to help you achieve some of those successes, or at least not get in the way of you reaching them. I know I have a lot to learn as a teacher, but you can trust that my effort and intentions were always there, even if my skill sometimes wasn’t.
I want to say thank you, for being (mostly) very patient with me as I figured out how to do this amazing, exhausting, rewarding, at times frustrating job. Early on in the year, before I really knew any of you, I wasn’t sure that would be the case; there were some issues, as there always will be, and while I handled them the best I could, I wasn’t sure it would be good enough to get through the year. Some of you can be very challenging at times… you know who you are. The real breakthrough for me came when, at the end of a kinda rough day, I mentioned in one of my classes that the reception for subs can sometimes be rocky; the response I got (“well yeah, but you’re not a sub, you’re our teacher”) was more important than to me than you will ever know. I may have thanked you for it already; I will again tomorrow, just to make sure. Crossing the line from sub to teacher was a big step.
As the year went on, I came to know those of you I taught better, and, gradually, even more and more of you; those in my classes, those who I coached, even those of you who I just came in contact with in the halls, or the gym, or my classroom. A goal at the start of the year was to become part of the school community, and I think that is the goal I was most successful with: thank you for helping me with that.
To those of you moving on to high school, I wish you the best of luck. I had a number of discussions with other teachers this year about what a great group of grade 9s we had; not sure you heard that very often, but I think you should, one last time. I taught most of you, came to know many more, and you went from the grade that I most nervous about teaching to the one I was most comfortable with. You will probably not get a final awards ceremony, or success assembly, as you deserve, but again, that is through no fault of your own. You’re caught in the middle. It sucks. I’m sorry.
To those of you back at CMS next year, I hope to see you there. I have no idea what will happen this summer, but hopefully, if things fall into place, I will find a way to be back there teaching next year. Have more things that bring a smile to my face, like Dang-it or literally, like Gandalf or 666, and find a new April Fool’s joke to play on you. It got more difficult as the year went on; you started to realize, sometimes, that I wasn’t serious, that the surprise quizzes, or changed due dates were simply to mess with you. You put a smile on my face every single day; I hope I was often able to do the same for you.
It’s been an awesome year, and I’m not going to let the terrible way it is ending diminish that.
Thank you, CMS