Dear 2020 Students,
We just want to say thank you. This year has been hard. We have worried so much, and we have never worked harder. But you have made all the difference. You have reminded us why we wanted to be teachers in the first place. Because even though this year has been hard on you, and we have worried so much about you, you continue to remind us what matters most: showing up.
You have shown us how resilient you are
We have watched you do whatever has to be done so you can continue to learn. It has broken our hearts because we want you to have everything that you need to be successful. Thank you, Jonathon, the 4th grade student in Roswell, New Mexico, who walked to school so you could use the internet and learn online. We want nothing more than to be able to open schools safely so you can come back to your classroom. In the meantime, you have shown us that you are resilient, and that has given us the courage to be resilient too.
Thank you for making us laugh
We have missed seeing you in school. Thank you for bringing your cats and dogs to our virtual classes. We love it when you tell us jokes or share something funny that happened over the weekend. Our class inside jokes and funny stories remind us that even though this is a hard year, it’s ok to smile and be happy. Thank you for helping us remember how important it is to smile and laugh.
You have shown us how you can advocate for yourself
We have watched you speak up about how schools closing affected you and your learning. It has given us some hope because we want you to have the confidence to share your experience and advocate for yourself and others. Thank you, Veronique Mintz, the eighth grade student in New York City who wrote an editorial in The New York Times where you eloquently and thoughtfully argued in favor of distance learning. Your words reminded us of how important it is to ask students for feedback. Thank you for speaking up and giving us the courage to speak up too.
You have shown us how you can help each other
We have had to quickly learn how to use new technology. It hasn’t always been easy. It has made us feel better to see how you help each other when we aren’t there. Whether it is in the discussion stream on Google Classroom, on a Padlet, or a Flipgrid, you have offered to help each other with your schoolwork. In doing so, you have also helped us. Thank you for moderating the chat and troubleshooting technology when you kept getting kicked out of the Zoom meeting. You never give up and seeing you try no matter what has given us the courage to keep trying too.
Thank you for appreciating us
We are working really hard to keep teaching you. Some of you are learning at home, and others are coming to the classroom. When you say thank you and show up to class with a smile, it makes our day. When you are patient with us when the screen freezes or the slides aren’t loading, it helps us relax.
You have shown us there is hope for a better tomorrow
Every time we teach you, we are reminded that you are the future. You are creative and thoughtful. You have so many good ideas, and we know that you are going to solve some of the problems we are facing. Thank you, Anika Chebrolu, a ninth grade student in Frisco, Texas, for your work in science. You have made a discovery that could provide a potential therapy to COVID-19. Your efforts reminded us how much potential every student has, and we are inspired by your desire to solve a problem that we are all facing. You worked hard to make this discovery, and seeing your efforts has given us the courage to work hard too.
2020 Students, thank you for giving us a reason to show up every day in 2020. We teach because of you.
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