Hello, my people,
We all heard the governor's announcement today. No more school for the rest of the year. I bet some of you are excited! Maybe some are relieved, and a bunch of you are probably sad, too. I'm mostly sad, though I know it's important to keep everyone safe from this virus that has changed so much for us.
When we left school, I wasn't expecting that to be the last time we'd ever be together in my classroom. If I was, I would have said some things to you that I didn't get the chance to say. So let me tell you now:
I've been so proud of how you all have grown this year. I've known some of you since you were 6th graders, and it's amazing to see how mature you've become! Two years ago, some of you couldn't even sit still for 5 minutes, and now you beg me for more silent reading time, barely looking up from your books. It has been a pleasure to watch you grow as humans and readers.
You're a curious bunch- it's one of the things I like best about you. I'm going to miss hearing your questions every day. Sorry I could never answer them all.
And look at that wall- see that chain with all those books you've read this year? I just know if we were allowed to be here until June it would have stretched the whole way across the room. I hope you'll still read when I'm not there to shove books in your face. Please read.
Even when we're not together, I'm going to worry about you. I'm probably going to worry about you more because I'm not seeing you every day. Stay safe. Remember that Dwight Schrute meme... if it's something an idiot would do, don't do it!
I wish I could have used every single second of class time to make sure you'd never fall behind in reading again, and reminded you that when things get hard in high school, you just have to use what you've already learned to keep getting stronger.
I don't know what the rest of the school year is going to look like. It seems like we'll probably have some video conferences or flipgrids... but it's not what I wanted for you
I wish I could have shaken your families' hands at promotion and told them how proud I am of you. I wish I could have heard your screams from the roller coasters at King's Dominion, and your loud singing in the back of the bus. I wish I could have seen you get all dressed up and served you cake while you danced awkwardly at the 8th grade formal.
I'm sorry, kids. It breaks my heart that you're missing so many great parts of 8th grade. But there's nothing we can do about it right now except hope that what we're doing is saving lives and do our best not to mess it up. I questioned the governor's decision, but he gets paid the big bucks for a reason, and I'm just a teacher, so I guess I'd better trust that he has a good reason for it.
I guess the last thing I'll tell you is, don't forget about this weird thing that happened during your 8th grade year. Write about how you're feeling, or do a vlog or tiktok or whatever. Just make sure you remember it, because it's one for the history books, and your life is really taking off right in the middle of it. Your generation is smart, strong, resilient, and empathic... you are going to make the world better, I just know it. You give me hope that better days are coming.