DEAR EDITOR:

As I sat and heard the words that I knew were coming, I wasn’t ready to accept them. I still had more loving to do! It took me a bit to totally understand what I was feeling and why: grief, no closure, robbed of time. My family said, “We need to have a party.” Others said, “What a shame...no fanfare for your 33 year career.” My feelings are and have always been--It’s not about me! It’s about the kids, which brings the reason for this letter. I am a firm believer in never leaving things unsaid.

Who in the world would have ever imagined we would be parting through a letter instead of big hugs and smiles? We are living through historic times. I hope this finds you well and safe.

For 33 years, we shared every emotion imaginable. Nerves as we met for the first time, excitement of new classes and friends, frustration of not “getting it,” joy as “the light” came on, and even anger when some teenager treated us badly(imagine), but mostly love, love, love. College tries to prepare a teacher to teach, but what ends up happening inside those walls and halls of a school is Love! You taught me how to love unconditionally, with my whole heart!

My hope and prayer has never been for you to remember who taught you the eight parts of speech, the helping verb song, or even how to write a five paragraph essay; but that you always knew I was there for you, and I cared. I want each of you to know how grateful I am that our paths have crossed. I am so blessed to have been a drop in your bucket. I have heard the most influential people in your life can be counted on one hand: preachers, parents, coaches, teachers, friends. I add students to this list! You are the Difference Makers!! Thank you for changing my life and giving me purpose! You pushed me daily to be the ‘Very Best Me’ possible. To give you all I had and more! Always reminding me not to give up until the miracle happened!

Whether you are from the class of 1987 or 2020, it’s all the same! You will forever be one of my babies! I love you. I miss you. I will not forget you. I am and always will be proud to have been your teacher.

Jaclyn Kile

7th grade teacher

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