Valentine’s Special: Dear My Students

You deserve more. You deserve to know the fullness of life, the beauty of the small moments, and the largesse of the celebratory ones. You deserve to know what it feels like to not be plugged in, and experience nature, sideline football until the streetlights come on. You deserve to know what it is like to be in “biker” gangs with your friends, running up and down streets all day long. You deserve to know the joy of having a Nintendo 64 bit system, or even the Atari. You deserve simpler times, when the news covered news and not the violence of man. You deserve those times, but I can’t give them to you. None of us can.

Instead, what I can offer you is fun times in a learning environment. I willingly offer you 100% of my energy and effort. I give you my workdays, and I will tailor them so that it does not feel like work, so much as collaboration between people learning from each other. I don’t promise that I can have all of the right answers, but I do promise not to lie to you when I don’t have them. I promise to be hard on you. I promise to make you hate me sometimes, because I will refuse to let you get away with not doing the work. I promise to hold you accountable, because somebody has to. I have to teach you about life before I can teach about content, because you have to see your worth, before you understand how that worth can translate into knowledge and wisdom. I promise to smile at you. I will love you. I will high five you. I will hug you. You can cry in my classroom, and I will not try to fix you. You can eat lunch with me, and we can discuss anything from the mysteries of life, to Dr. Who and who just died on the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” (Carl’s eye?? WOW).

I promise to give you all of me that I can give. In turn, you will learn to give me all that you have to give, because I will pull and push and prod until you stare at me with tired eyes, and I stare at you with tired, gasping breaths, and we both realize that something special has taken place. Something that you deserve. Learning. Life. Liberty. I will be your teacher until I cease to have breath in my lungs. Even if you have never set foot in my classroom, you are still my student, and I feel a responsibility to provide something positive for you to reflect upon.

Because you deserve it, and if I can’t give you the simpler times, I will give you the tools to create whatever kind of life you wish to create for yourself and your generation. You deserve more. If nobody in your life has told you this, then let me be the first. You should expect more from everything and everyone, but ESPECIALLY YOURSELVES! Happy Valentine’s Day to you, …

and get back to work, you SLACKERS!!!!

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