What I want you to remember:
1. Always believe in yourself! I believe in you so much.
2. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Read and learn as much as you can.
3. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
4. Your dreams ONLY work if YOU DO. Always give your personal best.
5. Find something you LOVE to do for your future career.
6. To improve your English= watch English movies, TV shows & listen to music.
7. Don’t be afraid to talk with foreigners! BE CONFIDENT!
8. The most important beauty is the beauty of your heart.
9. Be kind to everyone. You can’t make it through life alone & you never know who needs you.
10. Remember what Kid President said, “BE AWESOME”
11. Get off your phone & appreciate the people & places right in front of you
12. Keep Smiling & Laughing! There is always a way to be positive.
Today we had a traditional Thai farewell ceremony at school. The farewell ceremony is a very powerful celebration to wish the person goodbye and good luck in their next stage of life. All of the teachers and students take turns pouring rose water onto your hands and wishing you well as you sit before them. Reflecting on my last year of teaching and living in Thailand, the hardest thing to leave behind is by far the 100+ smiling faces that I’ve seen five days a week staring wide eyed at me, speaking rapidly to their friends in Thai, and telling me, “Teacha you crazy”. The advice above is what I want my students to remember from our time together. So, to my students who are reading this blog post… this is for you. For my friends, coworkers, family and blog followers, I hope you gain some insight from this as well.
I am so moved by the messages you wrote in your end of the year survey. They always tell first year teachers that you never forget the students you have your first year, and I can say that is 100% accurate. I am not sure how anyone could forget you. Most of you will never realize how much I have learned from you but you have changed my life for the better. You reminded me why I busted my butt in graduate school teaching full time (for free), going to night class, and writing countless research papers. You reminded me why I chose the field of education, even though there is a lot of controversy and frustration infiltrating the hearts and minds of classroom teachers all over the world today. You reminded me that teaching is just another form of human relationship like friendship or family. Yes, it is a job but it is defined by the relationships with the students and the people you interact with everyday. If you have never been a teacher, you can’t possibly understand the amount of effort that your teachers put into their job.
My professor once told me “It’s easy to be a teacher but it’s the hardest thing in the world to be a great teacher.” Just like I always tell you to try your best, I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be. You helped me to do that.
You were so worth the risk of moving to a brand new country on the other side of the world. SERIOUSLY! I hope I helped you as much as you have helped me. I hope that you remember the meaning behind the list of lessons above and all of the work you have done this year to learn those lessons. I am so impressed by your intelligence and your ability to find the fun in every situation. I know you don’t want me to leave and I don’t want to either but I promise that our time together will always be so special to me. We grew together, we laughed, cried(well I cried) and talked a lot.
Sometimes we spoke to each other in ways that didn’t use language, because neither of us could explain what we meant. So much of a relationship is not based on what you say. We showed up everyday. We tried our best. We always moved forward, even if it was very slowly.
When I think of Thailand I will think of your smiling faces. You should be so proud of yourselves. I will never forget you guys. You are amazing, intelligent, kind young people and I am so proud to be your teacher. You have a friend in me always, so please stay in touch! I will help you in any way I can. Good luck and I will miss you so much but you will always be in my heart!
Xx<3 Kru Susie