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Dear Former Students

August 18, 2019

Dear Former Students,

Some of you were freshmen and sophomores in September, 2000.  Some of you graduated in 2019.  All of you have stayed with me, changing me for the better into the person I am.

I’ve kept almost every note, every holiday card, everything you’ve ever written me since I started teaching.

As I scanned through them, reading each name, your faces come back to me:  your names switch on the image of you, your smiles, your personalities, your fears and triumphs that I remember from your time in my class.

I have learned much about being a teacher and a human in these 17 years (two years off for maternity leave). To those students in my first year of teaching–I would do things so differently now.  I didn’t understand you, and I was too serious and too afraid, but you drew me stick figures of yourselves at the end of the year anyway, and signed my “yearbook” (printer paper stapled together because I didn’t want to buy the real deal).

You taught me resilience, in how you showed up day after day, despite abusive parents, despite crippling physical injury or mental illness.  You taught me creativity, in the connections you made or the projects you created.  You taught me to say “yes!” more than “no” to students.  You taught me about MySpace and Twilight (and I hope I taught you that if you ever had a boyfriend who treated you like Edward treated Bella, that you would run like heck from that creepy stalker).  You taught me about persistence and disappointment and frustration.

You taught me I could handle a crisis when a sophomore had a seizure in class and we had to call 911.  You taught me about the stresses of teenage life when I had almost forgotten.  You taught me to be real, to be honest, to be goofy.  You eventually appreciated it when I pushed you with your writing and analysis. =)

I wanted you to know that you are in my heart always.  Maybe someday, you will see yourselves as I see you:  unique, worthy, loved.

With great affection,

Miss Ruth / Mrs. Frindell

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