Dear Future Samantha,
I hope teaching is going well! I hope that you’ve inspired your students to achieve and love school and learning.
I hope you’ve helped your students realize that they can do anything.
I hope that your students love to read and have favorite books and seek out new ones. I hope your students ask questions about the way the world is, and that they don’t stop inquiring. I hope you’re able to control the classroom effectively and create a culture where students feel cared for and supported. I hope you’re taking time to have a life outside of TFA, too – I hope you make time for friends and family and health and sleep. You’re gonna be great.
I wrote that letter to myself at the beginning of Justice Journey, nearly two years ago. It’s funny, looking back and seeing what is and isn’t true, where I’ve succeeded and where I’ve struggled. It’s funny how hard it is to put myself back there, two years ago, trying to remember what I was expecting going in to all of this.
I didn’t expect to learn half of the things I’ve learned here.
I didn’t expect to feel as deeply connected as I feel now.
I didn’t expect to want to stay here at least a third year and teach longer than that.
I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it has been.
I thought year two would be easier than it has been.
I thought I would be better than I am.
I had no idea how funny and unique my kids would be. I had no idea my school would be closing and I had no idea how weepy my school closing would make me. I had no idea that I would get as loud as I sometimes do in the classroom. I had no idea that I would care as much as I do right now.