Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine's Day Message to my Students

To my students - I love you.

To the loud ones: I love the way you inject humor and feeling into a class. I love the way you aren't afraid to say what's on your mind (though I do sometimes rue when and how you say it.)

To the quiet ones: I love the way you can be tacitly self-confident. I love the way you can draw or write or express your infinite wisdom and smile to yourself as you take in the world. I only wish you could share it more with others.

To the unsure ones: I love the way you puzzle out difficult problems. I love the way you don't give up, even when you feel like a ship lost at sea. I only wish you could take strength in your struggle instead of despair; through adversity come solutions.

To the aloof ones: I wish you understood that I love you. You are not an island, and neither am I. We can solve problems together if you and I put in the time together. It is never too late to change the approach, and it will only work if we have the conversation.

To the "smart" and "dumb" ones: I hate those labels, but I love when you overcome them. If you think you know it all, you haven't tried hard enough. If you think you know nothing, you are taking yourself for granted. Each person has a unique talent, and sometimes it can be hard to understand what that is in yourself. Never stop trying because of a label.

To the leaders: I love the way you motivate and inspire others. I love the way you listen to others' problems and try to find solutions. I only wish that every person could realize there is a little bit of leadership in themselves, too.

To the thinkers: I love the way you take longer to answer a question because you are thinking over all the ramifications and possibilities. I love the way the world is not black and white for you, but a myriad shades of gray. I only wish you could spread your patience to others.

To everyone: I love you because you inspire, create laughter, heartbreak, wisdom, perspective, innovation, and more. You make teaching exciting, challenging, demanding, rewarding, and completely awesome. If you are feeling alone today, don't. I love you.