Dear Super Syrie,
Today I heard about your plan to give all A’s, and I was angry. It was just after first period and the haze of anger about this plan clouded my mind, and I couldn’t even attempt to see your view. But one thought kept going through my mind, albeit annoyingly at first, that this plan was an amazing idea! I continued to think about it through math, band, LA, foreign language, and science today, and now at eleven at night, I think I finally have the words to say what I personally see in your plan.
First off, I don’t want to sound petty, childish, or easily swayed. These are my honest opinions and not teacher-pleasers. This year in LA has been one of my personal favorites, usually LA is class I hate and prioritize least of all and will do anything to get out of. Not this year, in fact yours is one of the few classes I don’t dread going to. With your combination of treating students like intelligent human beings and giving us opportunities like independent learning projects, I feel like I have actually enjoyed learning like when I was little and wouldn’t stop asking questions. And I have put more time and effort into your class, even though it is one of the easiest to pass. Heck, this isn’t even an assignment, I just wanted to share what I thought about your plan with you. I personally think the only reason people are getting upset, livid, or foaming at the mouth about this plan is that they don’t get the chance to participate. I would have loved it, anyone would. and why not? A zone with a skilled and driven teacher and students who want to learn sounds amazing.
Secondly, thank you for caring so much about so many students. Not many teachers can say that they would be willing or capable of handling the ordeal you are getting yourself into. My only worry is that, in making education better for students for the next two years, you might burn out, so make sure you take care of yourself. Once or twice this year you got sick, and from the way you acted in class about being gone, you saw it all as your fault, and that you were letting us down. While we do love it when you are here, we like to know you are feeling good, too. So, in short, be careful of the stress of this plan. You may have every eventuality planned for, but the hardest obstacles are the ones we don’t see ahead on the road.
Finally, don’t underestimate self-doubt. It never goes away. It never stops talking. It only waits for you to weaken. So, in your plan, which I find heartwarming that a teacher would care so much for his students, be ready for the only true thing to fear–fear itself.
Once again, thank you for caring; it makes my day.
–Ben, Sophomore CHS
Ben handed this to me at the end of the day yesterday. Tears near as I read it. Thank you, Ben. I am glad that my class was one of the least dreadful for you this year. Truly sorry that you will not get to participate next year. Glad, too, that your anger gave way to clarity and you found some sense in my plan.
Nathaniel is one of my senior TA’s this year. He joins me every day during third period, and with the exception of handing out a few papers on occasion, he generally reads or works on homework as we do our thing. As such, I never really know how much he or any of my TA’s pay attention to what’s going on around them. After all, my jokes haven’t changed much since they were in my class two years ago. So I assume they tune me out. Apparently, every once in a while, though, they tune in. Nathaniel had tuned in the day before during our discussion about my plan and self-doubt. This is what he shared with me at the end of third yesterday.
“Hey, Syrie. Yesterday, when you were talking about self-doubt and failure, I was reminded of a Superman comic I once saw where he couldn’t save everyone, and so someone asked why he should save anyone, and he said, ‘Even if I save only one person, that’s one person’s life I have saved, one person for whom I have made a difference.’ So, Syrie, think about that next year. Don’t worry about failing. You can’t fail. You will save someone, and that means you will have made a difference. As long as you are making a difference failure cannot succeed. Remember that.”
–Nathaniel, Senior CHS
Thank you, Nathaniel, I will add your wise words to my log, and as I move forward next year, I will revisit them when I am in danger of losing my way, reminding me of my purpose and my resolve.
Moments. I love moments. Happy Saturday, faithful few. Have a great weekend.