First of all, let me just say that I had some truly amazing teachers during my time in public school. Honestly. I remember every bad teacher I ever had because there were so few of them. And I hope, especially as many of them are not only my friends in social media, but also my coworkers now (still a trip, I gotta say) that they know how much all the little things they did meant to me.
Because really, that’s what we are, as teachers. We’re people who do a million little things and say a million little words to a million little kids and sometimes, some of that matters. This year, working at my alma mater, I was able to choose a Lighthouse Award recipient. Basically, a Lighthouse is a kiddo who you feel should be recognized just for being a good student. Ideally, it’s also someone who may have been overlooked or doesn’t get recognition in other avenues. But no matter what, it’s ultimately up to the teacher‘s discretion who they pick.
The fabulous kiddo I picked is the ideal Lighthouse candidate, according to me. She’s not perfect, but she works hard and always has a smile on her face when I see her. Yes, she’s a teenager, so she has her moments, but she also has a very sweet spirit and in a way, she reminds me of why I enjoy teaching – to educate kiddos like her and get them excited about reading and writing for just a little while. Maybe even social justice stuff, if you’re really lucky.
For weeks before we had the ceremony, I thought about what I would write in her final little card from me. Sure, I gave her a note with her ceremony invitation about how she’s awesome, but I didn’t feel that it was time to really go all-in, so I kept it short and sweet. In the card I handed her today, however, I wrote what I think every student at my school needs to hear and accept. I know it’s something that as an adult, looking back on my life, I wish someone had written to me. And that I had read it and believed it.
Here’s what I wrote: