some parting words

Dear seniors of Sluiter Nation,

Or should I say, “Ok guys, a few things…” since that is how I start every single class, every single day for the past nine months with you.

Tomorrow (Friday) is your last day. I’ve been back and forth and kept awake at night about these last couple days with you. I want our year to end just right. I want to say just the right things to you.  But here is the deal, I can’t.

I can’t do it.

For one, if I say the things in my heart out loud, it will come out all wrong. I will make one of my faces because I will feel uncomfortable and you will all laugh. Or, and this is my bigger fear, I will cry.

Plus I would have to say all this four times since there are four classes of you guys.

So I am going to write my parting words for you (and the rest of the interwebs, I guess) to read. So here it goes…

I’m going to miss you weirdos.

I am not exaggerating when I say this has been my best year of teaching in at LEAST five years.  I have never not liked my job, but this year I loved it again.  That was because of you guys.

I can’t remember the last time I was so exhausted at the end of the school year…but in a good way. In a way that felt like I was tired because I had put forth so much of my heart and soul into good things. You guys are those good things.

And I will miss you.

First hour, I will miss the way we eased into our mornings together. School started at 7:30am, but we were never a full class until at BEST 7:45 (Ok, I won’t miss that, ya slackers!), but I do appreciate that you guys could hang out on those days of terrible weather that  made me late. I never had to worry about you guys acting like fools while I wasn’t there. I could concentrate on getting to school safely.

I’ll miss the way that even though you seemed sort of asleep, you were consistently the class who heard all the directions–even if you were always the last to get every single assignment in from each person.

I’ll miss the guys, and I’ll miss all the ladies who tolerated the guys and joined me in the eye-rolling about the guys.

Petey and Tyler, may you continue to always find a funny on a Friday even after you’re not in room 47 anymore. And Logan, I’m sorry I almost got you fired for getting you addicted to hashtags. #sorrynotsorry

Fourth hour, I will miss your great greetings.  Each of you were so good at saying, “Hey Mrs. Sluiter!” or “Good morning, Mrs. Sluiter!”  You all came in so happy each day.

And you kicked ACE at English.  You did. You amazed me on the daily. This class consistently blew me out of the water with the level of awesome that you achieved on stuff I assigned.

Whether we were talking about Beowulf, Macbeth, or you were talking in your book clubs, the stuff you came up with was awesome and so uniquely YOU.

Oh and Cody? #merica

Sixth hour, Thank you for being my after lunch class. You guys won as the class who, hands down, had the best class discussions.  You also laughed the hardest at my stories and jokes, which means you win.

I will miss your ridiculous randomness, your tireless effort to get out of work, and how shocked you all were when you realized that you could do amazing things (like write really well and read a whole book and love it).

I will miss how great you could make me feel even though it was the afternoon and I wanted to be tired.

I do give side-eye to all of you who brought in delicious-looking snacks and never shared with me. #justsayin’

Although thanks for not leaving a mess because messes = mice and bugs. Mice and bugs = GROSS.

Seventh hour, Thanks for being, by far, the chillest last hour of the day I have ever had in thirteen years in the teaching business. I know anyone who walked in my room did a double take because they couldn’t believe you all were working so hard and so quietly. I like to say I am such a BA teacher that I made you that way, but you are all just that cool.

Instead of being wild banshees at the end of the day, you guys knew to get your shiz done and get on with it. I like that.

Well, except you, Nick. You were totally out of control. #sarcasmfont

All of you…

I know you’re giggling as I get sappy here because you know there were times you did nothing in my class. I know that too. I mean, it wasn’t perfect.

There were things that I could have done differently to make you all more successful, and there were definitely things some of you could have done differently to have a better ending to this school year.

But what it came down to was this: you guys made me want to be a better teacher each day. You made me want to try new things that would help more students. And you LET me try those things–like the book clubs–without too much complaint, and even with a whole lot of encouragement.

You were honest with me.

You were fun.

You were serious.

You were ridiculous.

You were totally weird.

You were random.

You were you.

And I am going to miss each and every one of you (yes, even you).

Because I know you think teachers taking selfies is hilarious.

Because I know you think teachers taking selfies is hilarious.

I want you to know I am proud of each of you. EACH OF YOU has something from my class to be proud of. I have been praying for each of you this entire school year.

I am so happy to have been a tiny part of each of your lives.

Thank you.

~Mrs. Sluiter

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!” 

(Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss)

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Aw, this is incredibly sweet. I think your students (I think of them as “Katie’s kids”) are very fortunate to have you as a teacher, mentor and friend.
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #20: EmptyMy Profile

  2. Luckiest senior class in “merica 🙂

    Katie, this was the sweetest, the most sentimental and SPECIAL thing to give them besides the education you imparted this year. You are an amazing, wonderful person…I’m so glad they got the very best parts of you to take with them on their lifetime journey.

    (plus, “Oh the Places You’ll Go….be still my softy heart.)
    Kir recently posted…I’m Listening {Happy Mother’s Day to my Incredible Mom}My Profile

  3. Nice work, Sluiter! Makes me proud to have been one of your teachers.

  4. You made ME weepy! Your students are so very fortunate to have someone who loves them and pushes them to succeed.
    Kristina recently posted…Dear Me Tomorrow: store-bought is okayMy Profile

  5. Sluiter Nation rocks! Congrats on a great year.
    anna whiston-donaldson recently posted…Love Flash Mob!My Profile

  6. I almost wish I could be in your class. You’re all lucky to have had each other! I hope you have a fabulous summer, and great classes again next year. And that all of your kids this year go on to do big, fabulous things.
    Greta recently posted…Even My Wipes Are Stylish Now, Yo.My Profile

  7. I would want you ask my English teacher.

    Kick ace? 😉
    Lady Jennie recently posted…Six Châteaux on the Loire: UsséMy Profile

  8. That actually made ME miss your students. 🙂 I know they appreciated you just as fiercely. You are that teacher that they’ll be talking about for the rest of their lives.

  9. Your students are going to love this! I kind of wish a teacher had written something like that for my class. It would be fun to look back on, now.
    Kristin Shaw recently posted…Friday FavoritesMy Profile

  10. What a sweet message to your students!
    Lisa recently posted…Thirty Things – Post #2 – Strengths and WeaknessesMy Profile

  11. I love every word of this so hard.
    Especially the part where every class had its own personality. A living, breathing entity.

    Isn’t that the wonderful truth about teaching?
    Sending you all kinds of love today as you say goodbye.

    I know how beautiful and sad that is.
    XO
    julie gardner recently posted…Goldilocks and the House FireMy Profile

  12. **I’m going to miss you weirdos.**

    Love that sentence–it demonstrates how cool you are as a teacher!

    I hope your students read this post & enjoy it as much as I did.

    Love from Minnesota.
    My Inner Chick recently posted…What You Remember Saves youMy Profile

  13. I love the way you let us into the personalities of each of your classes, and the shout-outs were great. I hope each of your students realize what an awesome person – not just teacher – you are.
    Andrea recently posted…The DanceMy Profile

  14. Oh how I love this. And even more for including the quote from Oh! The Places You’ll Go. I love that book so much.
    Roxanne recently posted…Today I’m writing for #WorldMomsBlogMy Profile

  15. Yes. Someone once told me that teaching is a profession of letting go. (I’m still recuperating from saying goodbye to my Creative Writing seniors last week.) Wouldn’t trade it for the world though … best job ever.
    Kara recently posted…I Am Two PeopleMy Profile

  16. <3
    The Many Thoughts of a Reader recently posted…A Life Less OrdinaryMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] I loved my seniors this past year. They rekindled my love of teaching. Perhaps that is exactly what I needed before this new adventure.  I thought that the great year meant that I was finally in the place I needed to be. But maybe it was preparing me for the place I needed to be. […]