“Thank you” is not sufficient. It is too simple, but the words just aren’t coming. You planned a goodbye party. You gave me notes and cards and pictures. You gave me hugs. You told stories and memories about what you enjoyed about class and having me as a teacher. You wrote a song. You performed in front of the group. This showed courage and selflessness during a very busy week of school for everyone.
You took the time to honor the goodbyes. You put in the effort to say that what we did as teachers made a difference. I know that I cried in front of you at a few different moments. The tears came even more when I was alone. (And I’m pretty sure that they are not done.)
Each one of you showed me that you loved me in your own way. This has meant more to me that you will ever know. You reminded me again why I teach. It isn’t because I love grading and tests. It isn’t because I love long meetings. I don’t even teach simply because of my deep love for the subject.
I teach because of my love for all of you.
As I am looking back on my time as your teacher, I am amazed at the growth in all of you. You are maturing, changing, and most importantly, so many of you are showing your desire to become more like Christ. I could hope for nothing better. I am honored and humbled to realize I was a part of your journey.
Each one of you has an amazing story. You each have something of value to offer those around you. I am proud of all of you for the young men and women you are becoming.
As my time as your teacher has come to a close, I am taking this opportunity to publicly say thank you. Thank you not just for this last week, but for the last two years that we have been together. I will miss you, and I am so thankful for all of you.