a letter to my students

this morning, i am sitting at my desk looking at my students take their us history final.
and suddenly, my eyes are filled with tears.
until i quickly blink them away.
(theirs might be filled with tears too...but probably because they didn't study enough. ha)
because, man.
I love these students SO much.
...even though right about now 30 of them really hate me. 
they are taking a 110 question final.
buuuut, I told them I would do everything in my power to prepare them for this test.
and if I did my job, it should be easy.
I'm happy to report, that so far (out of two classes), the average is a 91%.
I'm calling that a solid win. 

anyways, these students!
they are so special, so good, so kind.
and there are so many things I want them to know.
One of my goals throughout the year is to try to show them how much I love them.
because, I really do.
I often look at them and think, "man, when I have teenagers, can you come teach them to be as awesome as you?"
At the end of every class period, as they are headed out the door, I yell the same phrase: "Have a great Monday! (or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or...you get the gist. ha) I love you all!"
The first couple of times I say it, they all give me weird looks and kind of giggle awkwardly.
But as the year progresses, I hope they know that I truly mean it.
On every assignment that I hand back, I choose about three papers per class to write a little message on.
sometimes the messages are simple: "I'm so impressed with your work, John!"
Other times they are long and detailed, and I write what I feel like that particular student needs to hear.

I've sidetracked.
I just want these kids to KNOW how good they are and how much potential they have.
And when I look out into the world, I am scared for them sometimes.
The world is always telling them they aren't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough.
But then I see a small interaction in class--like the whole class cheering on the student with autism when he gets an answer right.
And I am filled with hope again.
these kids have so much power to do good.

and so, here are a few words of wisdom to the students I will always care about and forever think about.

To my lovely students,

I want each of you to know how much I care for you personally.  I constantly think of you, and will continue to think of you after this class ends.  I care about your failures, your successes, and most importantly, your tries.  I hope that you find happiness in life, that you never settle, and that you work for your dreams.  If you ever feel disheartened, discouraged, or alone, just remember that I believe in you and I will always be rooting for YOU. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “I hope you live a life you’re proud of.  If you find that you are not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

My greatest fear is that you will not realize your potential.  I know I’m just your teacher, but I see your potential.  I see how amazing each of you are.  Think what you can do if YOU believe that, too!  Do not let ANYONE tell you that you aren’t worth it, that you can’t do it, that you will never become it.  If you want something, go for it.  I have seen what an incredible group of students you are.  I have faith that YOU can help make this world a happier place.  My two cents of wisdom to you: if you have the power to make someone happy, DO IT.  The world needs more of that.

Keep in touch with me! Share with me your dreams and accomplishments.  As a teacher, I take great joy in seeing what you have gone on to do with your life. 

I really do love you (in the most appropriate way I can).  And I believe in you.

May your heart be kind, your mind be fierce, and your spirit be brave.

Love you all,

Mrs. Gilbert

With today being the last day of classes (yearbook day tomorrow, graduation on friday), it's easy to say that I'm a little sentimental and emotional today.

but right now, i'm gonna be creepy again and stare at these kids i love for just a little longer.
oh, and the answer to #40 is B.


  1. This is the sweetest!! I hope those kids know how lucky they are to have you :)

  2. This is the sweetest. You almost make me want to add a year of school to complete the education program on my English degree... Almost.

  3. This is the best!!! I bet you are all of their favorite teacher!! You have such a gift for this :)

  4. hahahha "and the answer to number 40 is B" I'm dying. Also...that quote at the end "May your heart be kind, your mind be fierce and your spirit be brave." THAT IS AMAZING. Can I make that into a printable?! (of course with your name attached). then you can print it for your classroom if you want. i want it in my playroom!

    1. hahah! well of course you can...and i want one too for my classroom! but don't give me credit. i didn't make it up. i heard it somewhere a long time ago and have loved it ever since!

    2. are you SURE you didn't make it up and you're not just being modest?

  5. This is so beautiful! Sounds like you are a great teacher :)

  6. This is amazing. I wish all teachers showed this kind of passion for their students.

  7. I'm making that heart, mind, and spirit line my mantra!

  8. Oh I love this! you are an awesome teacher!

  9. You are so cool. Hope your students know that! :)

  10. I love you, this is perfect, and I'm so glad these students have you! Some day when life is hard, they will look back and say, "I can do this. Mrs. Gilbert thought I was somebody!"

  11. love this! you sweet girl you! I loved catching up on your blog today! + totes buying the 30 day shred.