An Open Letter to My Students During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Dear Students,

How were we supposed to know that the last time we would all be together was going to be in March? We learned, played, and laughed like we were going to repeat it the next day. When you left school that afternoon, our last hugs and goodbyes were given.  We never even got to take one last whole class photo, you know the one where I tell you that you can make the silliest face you can think of? Or the one with your arms wrapped around your friends’ shoulders? 

I simply wish I had one more day with you in class.

Hope is what we held on to when we were told that this period of unusual and unexpected time would only last two weeks. We held on to that hope when two weeks became six weeks. We held on until the final announcement, but we still did not let go. Our school life changed, but we did not.

Now we are only able to see one another through a computer screen. I check in to see how you’re feeling and what you are planning to do each day. We play games, talk about our pets, and show each other what we work on to keep us busy. But it isn’t the same. I can’t see you when you’re learning online. I can’t walk over and ask you how you’re doing or how I can help. I can’t see your smiling face when you know it’s time for lunch.

We would never know what would have become of your final quarter of this school year. Maybe you would have made a new friend, learned a new skill, found a new book series you couldn’t seem to put down, or met a goal you worked so hard to achieve. This situation does not define who you are, it shows me what you are capable of.

Just because we weren’t able to continue our school year in person, doesn’t mean that we aren’t doing our very best to see the good in this situation. You are continuing to show me how much you are learning and growing each day. I’ve seen you explore and learn about creatures that are right outside your door. I’ve seen you use your creativity to build a Lego house inspired by a movie you’ve watched. I’ve seen yoga poses and gymnastic skills you’ve mastered which took practice, patience, and dedication. You didn’t need a school building to tell you that you could learn. You had the capability to do so all along!

Through this, I am grateful to be your teacher. You taught me how to be a better listener, a better leader, and a better person. We had our inside jokes, made mistakes and memories, and did the best that we could every single day. We cheered, we comforted, we struggled, and we succeeded. You are the reason why this year was so memorable!

Even though this time is nothing we expected, you are doing an amazing job of shifting everything you’ve known as normal to something completely new and atypical. You’ve taken responsibility and created your own motivation and dedication to get your schoolwork done each day. You’ve made sacrifices and postponed play dates and birthday parties with your friends and family. You are true rockstars and I’m happy to be your teacher! Keep striving to discover your full potential and never give up. You’ve got this!

We will be reunited soon, but for now continue to let your light shine, learn new things, make good choices, and be kind. I miss you.

Sincerely, Your Teacher