This week I graduate from high school.
There is a sense of finality surrounding this upcoming event. I say goodbye to the past 14 years of educational experience and begin to step into a completely different environment of learning. Over the years, I have come to appreciate what my friends, family, and teachers have all done for me. Several of these people have impacted who I have become and led me to the path I am taking in college. I would like to thank them.
To my kindergarten teacher,
Thank you for instilling a love for learning in me at such a young age. Each year, you worked to make your students have a strong foundation for educational value and cared about us. Even now when I see you occasionally, you make an effort to see how I am doing and where my life is leading.
To my second grade teacher,
I was scared to have you as my teacher and hoped I would receive a different one. Everyone talked about how hard your classes were and the strictness that you ruled them with. However, I loved your class and having you as a teacher. Thanks for showing me that teachers can have tough love and still care.
To my third grade teacher,
You were and are the kindest teacher I ever had. You were very gentle and took interest in everything we did and motivated us to love our classwork. I may have loved reading before, but you introduced me to better books and trusted me enough to move up several reading levels.
To my fourth grad teacher,
You still owe me a movie date. I won't forget. It may have been 6 years since then, but every time I see you, I have to remind you. You inspired me to read more than ever because I really wanted to win all those AR points. I hope I still hold the school record. You even let me sit next to your desk when I broke my thumb and needed help writing. Thank you for being a hard-working teacher and still keeping in contact even after I left school.
To my sixth grad writing teacher,
I loved writing. Ever since I was little and would write down dumb stories. Your passion for writing was and is motivating. I loved your journaling and class time to journal. You shared your writing with us and allowed us to take pride in our writing as well. Thank you for making us stop using words such as stuff, thing, it, and other various filler words. Also, I'm not going to lie, I wanted to fill up as many journals as I could before the end of the year so in some of my journals I wrote one letter on each page so I could impress you with how much I wrote.
To my sixth grade reading teacher,
Thank you for being honest about your faith in class. Even though it was a public school and faith was not a topic we were allowed to openly discuss, you found ways to live out your faith and invite other students to see what Christianity is about. You did not impose your beliefs on others but rather showcased what life looks like as a Christian. It has stuck with me for years and left a mark on me.
To my eighth grade Algebra teacher,
You were super scary when I first met you. I was scared to move up a level in math and be an 8th grader in a class with all 9th graders except one other 8th grader. When I was confused, you would work with me at lunch time to make sure I completely understood what was going on. Your dedication to your students is impressive and by the end of the year, you were my favorite teacher. Thank you for not giving up on me.
To my tenth grade honors Biology teacher,
I loved your science class so much. I have never enjoyed science more than I did in tenth grade. I love learning, but science was never my favorite. However, during tenth grade, I learned massive amounts of science that came in handy several times for the following two years of high school. You were a hard teacher and expected a lot from us, but you always were passionate about science and cared that your students understood the material.
To my tenth grade honors English teacher,
I don't know where to begin. English is something I am passionate about and you made it hilarious. You were made up of equal parts dry humor and strictness. You hated when things were late or when students would talk during class. But you enjoyed teaching us about English, killing our bad grammar, and extending our vocabulary. You taught me to explore literature further than the surface, but to dig deeper into the contemporary political events and meanings.
To my 10th-grade guidance counselor,
Thanks for letting me visit you all the time during class, caring about what I was dealing with, and helping me through the most difficult year of my high school career. I was in your office more than I was in class, but you did not care. Also, thanks for helping me even after I switched schools.
To my 11th-grade math teacher,
I am bummed you decided to leave for Montana, but I get it, love makes you leave even your favorite student. Especially when your fiancee (now husband) decides to surprise you during class and bring you flowers, he seemed pretty cool. I want to say thank you for putting up with my endless chatter and constant popping in to mess with you. Your class was a blast and I loved having you as a teacher. You have a real talent for connecting with your students and making even math fun! Thanks for being a fabulous teacher.
To my 11th-grade Psychology/Sociology teacher,
Thanks for being a hilarious teacher and making my love for psychology even deeper. I enjoyed your class, even if you only ever gave me one test grade above a 101%. Seriously though, I think you just didn't want me to get another one of those so you would only give me 99.7% over the silliest things. It's okay though because I ended up loving your class anyways. Thanks for laughing at my jokes.
To my 12th-grade math teacher,
I had enjoyed math the majority of my educational career, but when I began your class, I hated it. I did not understand your way of teaching and you are so extremely intelligent I never felt like I could ask any questions without feeling stupid. However, after talking with you more and getting to know your personality, I was able to ask you questions and have everyday conversations with you. You expected a lot of us students, but that is only because you believed we could do it. By the end of the year, I understood how you are a favorite teacher among the students and I also would say you were a favorite teacher of mine. Thank you for believing in us students and arriving early to school and staying after school for hours to help your students. You are a dedicated teacher.
To my AP biology teacher,
You're the sweetest teacher I ever had. Every day you would greet your students so cheerful. You would see us in the hall and talk to us about any and everything. You have an immense love for biology. Along with these traits, you cared deeply for what was going on in your student's lives and wanted to make sure that their day was great. You always supported us and would spend time with us outside of school hours, whether it was at a worship event or Saturday mornings helping us prepare for the AP exam. You wanted to see your students do the best. I love how kind and encouraging you are. I hope that over the next few years as you continue in your teacher career, you do not lose the passion you have for teaching or your love for your students. Thank you.
To my 12th grade AP English teacher,
I did not know what to expect with you as a teacher, I was scared because I did not think you liked me. Entering senior year was already a tough thing and I was nervous for how AP English was going to go. But through the year, you made it the most fun class as we were able to bond with our teacher through different themed days. You allowed us time to reflect on the more important things going on in life and prayed for us. You deeply cared about us and it was able to be seen through your actions. You are an inspiration to me as a writer, having written your own book. You are inspiring as a student, having not known your journey right after high school and being open about that for your students to accept that their path might change in unexpected ways. You are inspiring as a woman so that us young ladies will strive to be women after God's heart and respect ourselves in a culture that does not respect us very much. You are inspiring as a passionate person, you put your heart into everything you do and aren't afraid of loving too much. So for all this, thank you for being my teacher but going above and beyond your job to be an example for your students.
To my seventh-grade volleyball coach,
This was my first year playing volleyball on an actual school team and you made it a great experience. Through hard work and dedication, you taught us that we could be great. You never let us slack. At the time, many girls did not want to work hard, but surprisingly you made it fun. Thanks for being my first official school coach.
To my seventh grade track coach,
I remember you years later, maybe it is because we were running buddies, or maybe your dry humor, but possibly it could be because I was your favorite of my siblings even though you didn't have me as a student. You inspired me to run track and to continue even when my shin splints got bad. You helped me learn to love running, and years later, I would return to the sport, and remember you as my first track coach.
To my tenth grade volleyball coach,
To be honest, you made me hate volleyball, but as awful as that sounds, you propelled me toward my future, because I later ended up doing cross country and now I'm running in college. Don't get me wrong, I still loved you as a person, you were extremely funny and wanted what is best for us. However, the tactics used to try to motivate us to work harder weren't the best. I'm thankful for your presence in my life because later in my life, it helped me cross volleyball off my list for college. I had originally wanted to play in college, but through various bad experiences with volleyball, I decided to try something else. Thank you.
To my eleventh/twelfth grade track coach,
I don't even know where to begin, I have so many things I could say about you. I'll do my best but I don't know if it could ever do it justice. You wouldn't take no for an answer, but you never do, so I decided to run competitively for the first time since seventh grade. Each day I went to track practice, I was excited to see what you had in store for us. You loved to watch us work hard and laugh when we were in pain, but that is just the way you became great and able to run in college. You know what it is like to have to work past all the barriers inside your mind to become a better runner. You've been there and you want to see us kick butt. I love your passion for your track team and I want to do well for you. When I heard news that I was going to have surgery, I texted you and it sucked knowing that my track season might not exist or be cut short. Every step of the way, you were there checking on me and seeing my recovery. You cared and you still care. Even now, you're just a text away and you respond quickly. You guide me through decision making and hear me out when it comes to boys. When I'm running, sometimes it's your voice yelling at me that keeps me going or motivates me to run faster. I'm going to miss having you at meets and encouraging me all the time. Thank you for dedicating so much time and energy to your team.
To my cross country coaches,
I feel so loved and supported by you guys. Spending hours in the summer with the team training, team dinners, coming to help at service projects, you guys were always there. Even things started to get rough and not understanding why things weren't playing out the way I wished they had, you never made me feel like I was doing any worse. You wanted me to do my best, and that was all you asked. Thank you for being great supporters.
To my sixth/seventh grade best friend,
I love you still. We don't hardly ever see each other, but you are so funny and I can remember countless times where we couldn't stop laughing at the stupid things we were doing. You hold a special place in my heart for being my first best friend. Even when I see your family now, I feel as if they are mine. Thank you for helping me get through the rough patches of middle school. You were my volleyball partner, my pimple popper, my relationship expert, my sunbathing buddy, and my stupid sidekick (or the other way around;). Thanks for being the best. Love you lots.
To my friend in eighth grade who helped me when I needed it the most,
I don't have many great memories from eighth grade, but I do remember the moment we first really laughed together. And after that, I was blessed with a friend to eat lunch with, someone to run with, someone who shared in common hobbies, and most importantly, a friend when I needed one. Transitioning schools was difficult and after we became friends, I felt welcome. I still love you a ton. I love that you are now good friends with my exchange student. You make a great friend.
To my eleventh/twelfth grade best friend,
Wow, hi. Thanks for inviting me to sit next to you that day in anatomy. Also, thanks for not giving up on me and my dad jokes. What really sucks is that you're stuck with them now. I can't believe you thought I was annoying. Me? Nooo. All joking aside, you've been by my side for two years now, and you helped me through some really rough spots. We have lots of great memories and I get sad when I think about how you're going to go off to college and make new friends. Hopefully we will keep in touch and not let the distance separate us. Thank you for always wanting the best for me. You have never let people walk over me because you're so protective and loving. I will miss you tons. Thank you for being the best.
To my twelfth grade exchange student,
I will miss you. You leave in a couple days and it is hard to imagine that I might never see you again. I really hope that life brings us together later on. You stuck around in my cranky moments, you stayed up late watching tv shows with me. You were there when I would cry myself to sleep. I hope for a roommate as awesome as you. Whoever gets you as a roommate with be utterly blessed. You can cook, you keep your room clean, you're helpful, and you are so funny. You have expanded my horizons and helped me break down barriers that were once there. Because of you, I feel confident in my college choice. Don't forget about me.
High school has caused me to take a step back and think about all the people who have helped me get to where I am. All the coaches, friends, friends parents, and teachers that have supported and shown me love. I have been blessed to be where I am with the support system around me.