At some point in my life I decided teaching was my passion. It seemed to come natural to me, and although I am certain I was not a perfect teacher, few tasks brought me more joy than spending time with my students.
Each of the students who walked through the door of my classroom will always have a special place in my heart. I never dreamed I would have the privilege to work with such a talented group of young people.
Both Emily and Ashley are phenomenal writers. Although their writing styles are drastically different, both young ladies could become professional writers if that is what they wish. Josiah's raw artistic talent still absolutely blows me away. I remember seeing one of his drawings and deciding to ask him to draw a caricature sketch of someone. I had no idea he could really pull this off, but I kept encouraging, and he produced an awesome recognizable picture of the school principal. With a little training, he could become a cartoonist or something similar if he wanted. Marshall's imagination made the school newspaper quite entertaining at times as he created his own original cartoons. I could always count on him to put a smile on my face with his keen sense of humor. Rachel's attention to detail shines through in her ability to carry out interior design projects, and her generosity touches everyone who comes into contact with her. Ryan's caring heart was constantly reaching out to those around him, and he was willing to try anything I asked him to do no matter how weird it seemed at the time. Mitchell's determination to triumph in the face of difficult circumstances helped him maintain a constant positive attitude. Megan, Jordan and Haley knew how to have a good time even in the midst of diagramming long drawn-out sentences. They always knew how to look on the bright side. It didn't matter how difficult of a task I laid at Krysta's feet, she never grumbled. She was always willing to confidently jump head first into the unknown. Kimmy was always able to quickly grasp any new information presented to her, excelling in all of her subjects not just the one I taught. Josh's inquisitive mind took us to many places, as he was always ready to ask the questions that no one else would ever think to ask. If there were any problems with my computer, I could always count on Dustin to jump in and help out. Tyler could be relied upon to come to the rescue of the other students when we were reviewing in class as he has always had a sharp memory. Even though life was not always kind to Chris, he rarely had a frown on his face. His personality really brightened up my classroom, and Kevin's willingness to reach out to me when he felt overwhelmed was a good example to the other students. The truth is my students probably educated me more during our days together than I could have ever dreamed of educating them.
What none of these students knows is that the years I spent with them were some of the most difficult years of my life. Now looking back, I understand the important role these students played in helping me to make it through a seemingly no way out situation. The bonds I shared with them often helped give me the strength to get out of bed each morning. I desperately wanted to be there for them. I wanted them to have someone to count on. Unknowingly, I suppose I counted on them as well. I will never know if I truly made the positive impact on their lives that I strived for each day, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will never be the same because the kindness each of them bestowed upon me then and even now when we happen to bump into each other around town.
I am so very proud of each one of them, and have been truly blessed to have known them.