When writing the following goodbye letter, I was totally and unexpectedly ambushed by the emotion that bubbled through. It is just now, during the final days and hours of school that it has started to hit me that I will not be coming back her with these kids. And I have spent a lot of time in this room with these kids. I am still busy and still working to get all the end-of-year stuff done, but it is creeping in…it’s almost over.
I’ve been ready for the end for so long, I did not expect the leaving to reach out and snag my emotions like that. But it did and it might yet get me some more before it’s all over.
But here it is…me saying good bye:
Dear Parents of My Students,
There is this rumor going around that I will not return to Newton High School next school year. In fact it is not a rumor at all, but it is true. I resigned my position effective the end of the year and am applying for other positions both inside and outside of the county for next year.
The last 10 years have been a wonderful adventure and journey of learning about your children and your families and working together to meet the needs of this unique population. I have professionally and personally grown so much and have been taught so much by these students. In many ways, the students here teach everyone else the true meaning of compassion, caring, understanding, cooperation, patience, perseverance and integrity because they demand so much more than any other students.
During the past year, despite many challenges, each and every student in my program made progress and improved from where they started. It has been an honor and privilege to be a small part of that.
No matter where I end up, I will continue to be an advocate for all of our children, regardless of disability. I have to admit the emotional aspect of leaving comes as a bit of a surprise to me. There is a bond with each student that has passed through this room and for the first time in 10 years, I won’t be back to carry on.
I want to thank you all for your support over the past years as it does take a full team working together. I know a little about the challenges of raising a child with exceptional needs as my own son has a diagnosis of autism. I have looked upon each of you with so much admiration and respect for what you do each and every day. I get paid for it, you do not. I wish everyone well and really am praying, as you are, that the district finds a good teacher to improve on the work we’ve already started.
Thank you and God bless,
Serving Students with severe disabilities