To the Class of 2012
I didn’t know I was meant to be a teacher when I first started teaching. Now there is no doubt in my mind that I was meant to be here doing exactly what I am doing. And partly, it’s because of all of you.
As I look back on our journey together, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my students this year. You made me want to come to work every single day; you made me want to be with you. You also made me want to be a better teacher, a better mother, and most importantly, a better human being. I loved every single second that I spent editing your personal statements, grading your essays, and challenging your answers in class. It has been so much fun!
Because I was always hard on you - and yes, I know I have been hard on you all - you probably didn’t know how much I wanted to take away your disappointment or pain. Or just let you “enjoy” your senior year without any stress. But when I volunteered to be your AP teacher, I knew I had to be a teacher who challenged you and prepared you for your future. I knew that you didn’t come to be in my life so I can simply tell you how amazing you are. By the way, you are amazing. Yes, I have said it. It is true.
But you are also kids, and you still need to learn a lot. We all do. I have tried to help you become curious learners. I tried to model that, and I hope you got that from me.
As I say farewell to you, I want to share one last lesson with you. Remember, sometimes perspective is much more important than the truth. I say that because you are about to experience lots of successes as well as failures. Not the ones that you have experienced so far, but serious, real-life ones. You will have your hearts really broken, you will be told no, and you will be rejected by someone or some place. I am sure of it. So here is my last piece of advice.
Just have faith that things will be what they should be. There really is no way of knowing whether getting exactly what you wanted could have served you better. I didn’t “intend” to end up at IHS. I didn’t know I wanted it. It just happened. I would like to figure out the statistical probability of me, who was born in Korea, becoming your AP English teacher and you, who live in Bakersfield, becoming my students. I am sure one of you brilliant students can help me on that! What are the odds?
The point is, despite my lack of intention, I always thought of my life as a choice. I “chose” to be here. I “chose” to be your teacher. I “chose” to help you in the way that I knew how. And I “chose” to be thrilled at the outcome. It has served me well.
So when you feel down because things are not going “your” way, please remember to keep things in perspective. Things are always as good as you think of them and as bad as you think of them depending on your perspective. If you keep your perspective happy and positive, you can also “choose” to be happy. It’s just that simple.
It has been an honor and privilege to be your teacher. Your class will always have a special place in my heart. I worked very hard to be the best teacher I knew how to be. If I have disappointed you in any way, please know that it has not been my intention. I love you very much, and thank you for helping me love my life that I chose: a teacher’s life. I will miss seeing you every day. Please keep in touch.
I am a mother, wife, and English teacher. I moved from Korean when I was 23 without speaking English. Now I teach English. I want to be an Educational-Neuroscientist when I grow up!