Wow, I thought, nobody writes letters! Would that they did.
I struggled with the topic for more than a few days. I hope peace and happiness, challenges and rewards, successes and adventures for the students at my school. I also hope that they will learn resilience, practice kindness, and never let go of optimism. I hope they will find love and friendship, passion for life and purpose. I hope all these things and more, and yet capturing them in a letter that found the right tone eluded me. My first try was maudlin. My second too breezy.
So I put the topic away for a spell. I thought about it. I engaged in a busy week with students, talking about everything from homecoming to social media. I met with athletes, actors, student journalists, and elected student body officers. I sat down at lunch and talked with 9th graders, visited an AVID class, spent time in the auto shop, and watched a brilliant AP World History lesson.
I saw that the students at my school have all the tools they need to be successful and to have the kind of life I hope for them. I saw the profound impact our teachers have in these students’ lives, and how much their work now can help to influence each students’ future. And I saw that they didn’t really need a letter from a sentimental fool like me, maybe just a text.
So, my thoughts about what I want to say to my students…
I wish the world to our students. My hope for them is as great as my belief in what they can accomplish and who they can become. I’m optimistic about our world because I have a catbird seat to the students who will help to shape it.