Dear Student Teacher,
I can’t believe our time together is coming to an end. Soon you will be moving onto your next placement and then you will be a full-fledged certified teacher.
I had high hopes for modeling excellence for you. I wanted you to see perfect plans, neatly written in my plan book, expertly delivered. Instead, you experienced reality- plans in my head, often not written down. Lessons interrupted by the intercom, squabbles between children and missing pencils. While I wanted tp be the model, you actually helped me create systems for organization. You taught me features of Smart Notebook I didn’t know about and other new technologies. The teaching and learning went round and round as we taught each other and learned from each other simultaneously.
While I feel short of all I hoped to teach you, here’s what I most hope you learned from your time in room 215:
I’ve been teaching for 18 years and there is still so much I don’t know. I don’t know how to make this job more do-able. I don’t know how to balance all the responsibilities with a full personal life. I don’t know how to stay on pace with the curriculum map. I don’t know how to keep my desk organized.
Here’s what I do know to be true: Our job is very important. Children will think of you for years to come. Your words and actions send messages at all times. Your students need you. They need your patience, your vision, your laughter, your kindness. They need you to set high expectations and believe in them. They need you to create bridges from where they are to where you need them to go. They need you to make school a happy place to be, a place where they can grow into who they are meant to be.
Our job is very hard but it is a privilege to do this work. We truly impact lives, each moment a ripple into the future that we often don’t get to see. We don’t know what students will remember so we try to make moments count.
I wish you a full and happy teaching career. I wish you classes of children eager to learn and the patience and kindness to help the more resistant. I wish you resilience for the hard times and hope for the sad times. I pray our time together has helped you to be excited about teaching and feel more ready to teach your own class.
I believe in you and I look forward to all you will do. Thank you for being such a special part of our class this year and for all your hard work. We will miss you so much.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski