Dear 8th Grade Heroes,
We made it! Here we are at the end of the school year, at the end of your middle school career. And what a journey it has been. You all have had the most tumultuous time of any middle school class in recent history – from school being closed to virtual learning to hybrid to back full-time, masks, and all the rest. And through it all, your resilience is astounding! So let me start by saying I am so incredibly proud of all of you.
As you step into the next chapter of your lives, I want you to remember that it will be different. Very different than anything you have experienced up to this point. High school is a world of its own that will force you to HERO UP in order to be successful in that part of your academic career. It will require intentionality on your part, determined decisions to do what is necessary, but I whole-heartedly believe that you have it in you to make it through.
Thank you for the opportunity to be your ELA teacher this year, to work with you on skills that often may not make sense but that, I know, will benefit you in the long run. Take those transferable skills that I have taught you, that you have practiced and practiced, and make them work for you.
Thank you for the opportunity to watch you grow. You humans have come a long way, not all of it–or any of it–easy. I am proud of the Heroes you are becoming and the bigness you are growing into. Remember that you are a person, whole and significant and important to this world. You have the power to make it better or worse, and it is a decision to be made every single day. I hope that I am sending you away with your hearts a little bigger, your souls a little deeper, your minds a little more open, and your capacity for kindness a bit greater. That, after all, is my goal. Always.
You, dear Heroes, are the twelfth class of 8th graders that I will say “see you later” to and send off into the world. With that in mind, I want you all to know that you are always welcome here in our classroom, even when you aren’t one of my current Heroes anymore. You are welcome here, and I am always willing to help you.
As you go, please always remember to be excellent to each other, have courage, and be kind.