Letter of Appreciation

I just wrapped up the school year a little over a week ago, and I thought I would share a letter I gave to my students at the end of the year.  I don’t share this with you to say “look at how great I am for writing this letter.”  Instead I’m sharing this with you with the hopes that you will take the time in the near future to appreciate those around you.  Take a little time and let people know how much their work and effort are valued.
I gave this to the students on the last day of class, so I’m not sure what impact it had in their lives.  However, I know the process of writing it and thinking about all they had accomplished was rewarding enough for me to make it worthwhile…
Dear students,
You are awesome!  And I don’t mean that in the “I’m your teacher so I have to say that” sort of way.  In fact at this point I’m pretty much not your 6th grade teacher anymore.  I don’t have to say anything.  I’m not required to write this note.  I’m writing it because I want to and because I think it’s important that you know that YOU ARE AWESOME!
Every year I get a new group of kids to work with and mold.  Hopefully I can have an impact on their lives.  Sometimes I think I do, and other times I know I haven’t made enough of an impact.  But you need to know that regardless of the impact I make on you, you will always have an impact on me.  Every day on my way home from school I think about all of you.  I worry about things that may be bothering you.  I stress over lessons you still haven’t grasped completely.  I celebrate every victory no matter how big or small.
As your teacher it is my privilege to share 50 minutes every day with you.  You help me grow and improve as a teacher.  I love seeing the spark when something finally clicks.  I love the pride you get when you succeed at something.  I’m amazed at the challenges you overcome and obstacles you don’t let stand in your way.  This year I set the bar exceptionally high.  I set challenges in front of you that many people would think were too difficult to overcome.  But you met every challenge and exceeded every expectation.
You will leave this building at the end of the year and no longer be 6th grade students.  You will be 7th graders.  You will be the leaders of the school, the ones my new batch of 6th graders will look up to.  Be the leader I know you can be.   Gandhi once said “be the change you want to see in the world.”  Be the change you want to see at SFT.  Make this school the greatest, most welcoming place you can.
And always know this, I will always be there for you if you need me.  Once a member of Team Confidence, always a member of Team Confidence.
Thanks for being you.  You are AWESOME!
Mr. Stock
6th Grade Language Arts Teacher

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