To My Wonderful Third Graders,
Summer. It’s finally here!
I remember on the first day of school, during the busy bustle of collecting school supplies and learning names, one of you so smartly asked: “How many days until summer?” I crushed your souls when I answered with the truth, over 160 days of pure education stood between you and the next summer vacation. But you made it through. We settled into a routine of spelling tests, vocabulary cards, multiplication tables, and ipads. Homework was always a bother and Fridays were the most magical day of the week. (You guys got away with so much on Fridays. Had you tried that on a Monday, things would have ended very differently.)
I watched you transform this year, the unsure, brand new third graders that entered my classroom that first day are walking out as giants. Fourth grade is a journey you will be taking without me, but I am confident you have gained the knowledge you will need to succeed
You’ve learned a lot over these 167 days but not all of the lessons were academic. You learned to be “bucket fillers” and respect one another. Honesty, compassion, and helpfulness are the traits of a good student and friend. Be one. You learned that with age comes responsibility. You were responsible for homework, library books, and returning important papers. Sometimes there were consequences (and tears) when something was forgotten, but you accepted it. Our mistakes teach the most memorable lessons. You also discovered that you are capable of succeeding independently. Trusting yourself and being confident in your work was not always easy. But as you progressed throughout the year and reached goals you thought were impossible, your new-found confidence was undeniable.
Never stop believing in yourself.
Our greatest challenge this year was the state standardized test, your very first one, and certainly not your last.
All year we worried about it, lost sleep over it, and prepared for it. I pushed you to the very edge of your limits. You worked so hard to meet every expectation I threw at you. Those last few weeks were brutal. I could see the fear of the unknown in your eyes. “Will this be on the test?” “Why are there so many questions?” “Will anything be easy?” The test was a mystery you weren’t quite ready to face. But in spite of your uncertainty, you excelled. You pushed through the test and gave nothing less than your best.
So now that you’ve left this classroom, our home for the past year, I hope you remember us. May you look back on this year with joy. Remember our crazy happy times (like when our class was taken over by snakes and parrots) but never forget your struggles. Every teachable moment helped piece together the student you have become.
I know next year your hugs will turn into casual waves when we meet in the hallway. Another teacher will take my place and continue to help you grow. But eventually these carefree childhood days will only be memories. So cherish them and never forget our 3rd grade adventure.