“Throwback Thursday: The Student Who Was Wise Beyond Her Years” 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.
I do not need to give you advice since you probably won’t take it, for if there’s one quality that joins you and your brother it’s your steadfastly headstrong nature. However, this letter isn’t about him; it’s about you and the impact you have had on me from an educational and humanistic standpoint.
Admittedly, I hated middle school when I was in it and I swore to myself that when I became a teacher I would never teach it. After fighting with some of your current and former classmates in eighth grade, however, I realized that middle schoolers, just like high schoolers, could relate to my perspective. You, in particular, were one of the few in that class who got it at the time.
You’re wise beyond your years, for sure, and your advanced intelligence sets you apart from a majority of your peers; however, make sure you take time for experiences that push you beyond what’s familiar to you. Without taking a chance, I myself might never have become a teacher or a writer. I might be stuck at a desk right now scrutinizing a spreadsheet as opposed to stuck at a desk staring at a bunch of seventh graders struggling mightily on regurgitated questions.
Finally, enjoy what remains of your childhood, for once it’s gone you can never look at the world the same again.
As Frost says, “Nothing gold can stay,” but I think you’re about to enter a golden age neither of us have the clairvoyance to predict but I’m sure will be as enlightening as it will be rewarding.
Only the best for you and your family,