Every teacher has a “first class.” It’s the very first class she ever taught, the kids who made her realize how HARD a job she signed up for, and the kids who taught her more than any college classroom ever could. No matter how long she teaches, no matter what she goes on to do, no matter how many kids she loves over the chourse of her life, there will never be another “first class.”
My first year teaching, I have had over 500 students. That’s so many that I don’t even know all their names! And I love every single one of them very, very much. But 500+ students are not a “first class.” 500+ students are a “first school.” So, my first class, the students who changed my life forever, are my fourth graders. You all have challenged me more than I ever thought I could be challenged. And no matter how much I challenged you, you rose to the occasion and always wanted to know more, do more, learn more. You are the students who will stick with me. You may not know it, but you are my teachers, too. And I couldn’t have asked for better ones.
You taught me that fourth graders can learn high school science, if you give them a chance. You taught me that hermit crabs are BAD class pets. You taught me that humanity is flawed, but humans are good. You taught me that hard science can be fun science. And you taught me that I am capable of more than I thought I was.
I will miss you so much.
Thank you for everything, fourth grade.