‘Really Saying Goodbye to Southern Humboldt,’ Teacher Leaving Writes Letter to Her Students’ Families
Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication.
Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.
First off, I would like to thank Kym for posting this message for me in order to help reach all of my students’ families. I have been going back and forth regarding how I wanted to write this or even if I should write it at all. Many tears have also been shed while writing this because it didn’t hit me until just now that I am really saying goodbye to Southern Humboldt.
When I got hired here at South Fork High School, I was saddened to hear about the high turnover rate at the school. Since day one, I made a promise to my students that I was going to be here as long as I could. I would always tease them and say, “I didn’t up and move my life in 7 business days to leave you all.” Very quickly your children opened up to me, and I have made some amazing bonds over the year-and-a-half here. I have challenged your kids with a more conventional style of Physical Education that included tests and worksheets, which they overcame with grace. We covered many units from volleyball, to football, to even lacrosse, which some enjoyed and others loved. Your children have also gone through so much adversity over my time here, and with each new challenge, they rose to the occasion. We went through the worst rain in years while also not having a gym or a field, due to construction. Then this year we awaited the completion of the new gym while also having a lack of physical education equipment. Each day kept me and the kids on our toes, and while there was frustration, we got through the day together.
This year provided its own challenges with a lot of turnover again within the district, and new leadership. I did my best to support every student by coaching two sports and attending every home game possible. I remember my junior high students having a volleyball tournament in Rio Dell on a Friday night, and as soon as it was over, driving back down to South Fork for homecoming. My whole philosophy on teaching is to be there for students beyond the classroom in any way that I can. I believe that your students taught me as much as I taught them in all aspects of the job.
When I told the students that the district non-reelected me, many were shocked and saddened. I did my best to comfort them and tell them that I knew it was going to happen and that we were going to make amazing memories until the end of the year. Even though it would have been easy to give up after being told I wasn’t coming back, I continued to work hard for the students. Students were there for me when I was being invalidated by some team members at the high school, and that established that I was meant to be here.
There are no words to describe how much it meant to me to teach your amazing students. Every single student impacted my life in a positive manner and in a fashion that will carry with me for many years to come. I wish your students the best of the luck in their future endeavors, and if they ever need anything, I forever will be available for them.