“Throwback Thursday: The Student I Actually Enjoyed Talking To” constitutes a reintroduction to some old letters I wrote to some of my former students. When I previously posted them, I underscored the importance of particular ones. I am now highlighting certain ones in Throwback Thursday posts.
Here is the original introduction: On June 19, 2015, the first eighth grade class I ever taught graduated from high school. My honeymoon precluded my attending their graduation, so I wrote each of my former students a letter.
It’s rare I find a student in eighth grade who I actually enjoy having a conversation with outside of the functions of my job. You, sir, are the exception.
When I first met you roughly five years ago, you were a struggling young man who had so many interesting ideas without the means to articulate them. I like to think I helped you with this, giving you an outlet to express yourself and a soundboard to vent your frustrations. I’m not mentioning this to pat myself on the back, though; I want you to realize how far you have come.
Now, the man I speak to knows how to express himself and can manage his emotions and communicate them productively. You’ve shown yourself to be a creative, wildly imaginative thinker whose inquisitive mind lends itself to lifelong learning. Never lose this zest for gaining knowledge, never stop questioning, never stop being you.
As you’re on the precipice of an entirely new set of experiences in the fall, understand there are challenges ahead. Do not settle for mediocre; you’re so much better than that. Make sure you work ahead, not behind. Keep schedules, go to the library, and get some regular sleep. Then, there will be time for the fun, and the fun is that much better when you earned it.
To say I will miss our colloquial chats is an understatement. They don’t build kids like they used to, I guess. Maintain your childish sense and continue to giggle at the silly stuff (at the right time and place, of course); that’s what keeps us young no matter how old we are.
Email me if you need me, for I’m always here for you, and enjoy your summer.
All the best to you and your family,