A Quick Thank You to my Students

Dear Students,

Thank you.  You may not know it, but you’re fantastic.  As the teacher, it is my job to create an environment as conducive to learning as possible.  That may include considering seating arrangements, presentation of material, my attitude in class, how I handle discipline in class, etc.  And as much as I consider and account for all of those aspects of the classroom environment, nothing affects or shapes my plans more than you.  So, while it is literally my job to create a great environment for learning, it is also on your shoulders a bit…and as I stated earlier, you’re fantastic.

You probably couldn’t tell today, but I’m stressed….adulting can be quite difficult at times.  Today, in particular, a plethora of adult things are stressing me out to the max:

-scheduling buses for a last minute change to the soccer team’s game tomorrow.

-completing bus requests for the remainder of the soccer season…that is, until the inevitable cancellations due to excessive rain means I have to reschedule games and make changes to the bus requests.

-finding a date for two games that need to be rescheduled

-completing a check request to pay for a tournament for the soccer team.

-planning for and writing a bid proposal for improvements to the practice soccer fields.

-an interesting change to the student/teacher parking situation at school.

-planning soccer practice today.

-solidifying plans for class tomorrow.

-writing…for my blog and a book proposal for a publisher.

-restructuring plans to get through all of the AP psychology curriculum before the exam because of missed days.

-planning review days for the AP exam.

-financial stuff…you may or may not know it, but teachers aren’t paid a lot, and sometimes life creeps up on you.

-and other stuff…

Individually, these stressors aren’t much and are easy to deal with, but all at once…tough times.

I have two groups of people who help me when I get this stressed…help me forget about the mountain of things to do.  Number 1 is my family.  You’re in my class and you know the way I talk about them.  I love them.  They are the most important people in my life.  Nothing calms me more than going home to my wife and three kids every day.  Sure, I need to cut the grass and pull up some weeds.  There’s always laundry to fold and dishes to be cleaned, but somehow enjoying watching my four year old dance like a ballerina or throwing frisbee with my son seems infinitely more important…the grass will get cut, but these experiences with my family are fleeting moments of awesome I can never get back.  Honestly, I would much prefer my family write something on my tombstone resembling ‘loving father and husband’ than ‘his yard was well manicured.’

You may be surprised to know that you are number 2.  I know society and the media tells you that you are a nuisance and we’re all doomed because of your immaturity.  Guess what?  They said the same thing about my generation and the same will be said about the generations of teens that follow you.  To be honest, I’m much more worried about the actions of the adults in this world than I am by you.

Anyway, because of how great you are in the classroom, I am more able to be the best teacher I can be.  I am able to try new things, have meaningful conversations, discuss research, tell dad jokes (thank you for the pity laughs), and just be myself.  If you weren’t so wonderful, both in your behavior and work ethic, things could be very different.

So, when I walked in to the school today, I was stressed.  I was stressed as I planned for the day.  I was stressed as I made coffee.  I was stressed as I answered emails before class.  And then you guys/gals walked in and I’m able to put those stressors in the back of my mind and sincerely enjoy my job, my profession, and one of my passions.  I could not do that without you.  Trust me, I’ve taught in different schools where this was not the case.

So, thank you.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for allowing me to be myself and for doing your part; for being so wonderful that I can forget about the stressors that life doles out and enjoy my career.  While it is my job to create an environment conducive to learning…you do so much to create an environment conducive to teaching.

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