(To readers of my blog, this is a letter than I needed to write to my students. We had a very special bond over the last two years and I realize that I may sound like I’m exaggerating how much they liked me as a teacher. I realize that teachers come and go, but I promise that students like this might not.)
To my amazing, wonderful, ridiculous students,
I think that most of you have heard a rumor that I’m leaving FHS. Unfortunately, that rumor is true. I should have told you by the end of the school year, but I made a selfish choice to wait. I couldn’t look into all of your faces and tell you that I wasn’t coming back because I knew that it would disappoint you.
I want to be clear that if there was one solid, concrete reason that I didn’t want to leave, it was because of you all. But a lot of things happened behind the scenes this year that made my decision for me. I didn’t want next year’s AP students to have three different French teachers in four years. I didn’t want to leave before next year’s junior class graduated. But that’s the way that it had to be, and I wish I could express that in a better way.
I didn’t tell you before I left, not only because it was tough, but also because I want you to continue on with French. I don’t want you to stop just because I’m not there, and I don’t want you to give up because you think it won’t be the same. I want you to remember your excitement and enthusiasm for taking French. Teachers come and go, but I hope that I caused at least a few of you to really love the language itself. Past the “quelle tristesse,” the “oh la la,” and the “zut, zut, et zut” I know that you all really have a gift in learning French and that taking it next year can be as fun as you imagine it to be.
Although I am truly sad to be leaving you all, it’s the best move for me. But I want to leave you with the memories that I have, the times that shaped my career as a teacher, and the moments I will never forget, not in a million years.
I remember …
- Day one of my first year, when I was so intimidated and everyone wanted me to promise a million fêtes for that year
- Breaking your hearts when I told you no one says “zut, zut, et zut!” in real life
- Breaking your hearts a second time when I told you no one says “je regrette” either
- Doing ridiculous textbook exercises and making fun of the art (polygon feet, anyone?)
- Yelling at the PA when it interrupted me several times in one day
- The clock song
- Making the “My favorite’s gouda” motion from She’s the Man every time I wanted to make a point
- And even sometimes when I didn’t make a point
- The time that Pierre got a random drug test and he never lived it down
- The time we played sports with my clipboard because someone asked me, “are we doing something FUN today?”
- Nicolas and his cat cutouts
- Bell ringers
- Andy being the “two liter guy” for fêtes
- Falling on the floor in mock tears when someone (Madeleine!) denied that “Je suis hyper cool.”
- The time we contemplated for about 15 minutes what it would be like to drink “jus de pomme de terre”
- Sitting on the floor in protest of someone talking
- The time I moved the desks into diagonal rows and everyone told me that this was so different from old Madame’s room
- The first time we played Kahoot and the music alone nearly caused a few heart attacks
- The first time you realized that I wouldn’t quiz you on pointless stuff that we didn’t learn
- Letting you all think that you were “derailing” or “distracting” me when we “aired our grievances.” Really, I could just tell when you all were upset about something and needed to talk it out
- The day that Zayn left One Direction and how it sucked the life out of some of my classes (I’m only slightly ashamed to include that one)
- The art analysis speaking test where my French IIIs freaked out about something we had practiced for three weeks in class.
- The tram-osaurus and related jokes
- Using Oprah as a scapegoat any time there was a knock at the door
- Letting Odette cut the strings off of my skirts because she’d freak out if I didn’t
- Messing up Leon and Lyon when I was making a point for you not to
- Speaking in a “country” French accent because someone dared me to
- Publicly making André feel bad when he didn’t sign up for French III … you know I only did it because you were a good sport
- When Croissant changed his French name to Croissant … and no one can remember what his original French name was
- The time you tried to convince me to call Jacques “Jacques dos”
- How many times a day I heard “hola” in response to “BONJOUR!!”
- How many times a day I heard “oui” or “eh” in response to “ça va?”
- The times I really saw French clicking in some of your heads; a lot of you wrote me really excellent stuff this year when you stopped freaking out about spelling
- All of the motions to the body parts that my French IIs learned this year
- Doing the crab dance
- Four corners becoming my French Is favorite activity ever
- Every time someone called an assessment “easy,” as if I would get any enjoyment out of it being the hardest and all of you tanking it
- Donut day
- Any time you all took an exam and were astounded that all the stuff from the study guide was on it
- Days upon days of yelling when someone forgot that their snack had peanuts in it and ate it anyway
- Those two times that I spilled my coffee in front of the same group of French IIs
- When we played the super nintendo after the exam
- Mini rock paper scissors tournaments that you thought were a waste of time, but really gave you a much needed break
- The wonderful notes, gifts, and hugs that I received over the past two years
- Every time someone told me that I was their favorite teacher and I had to hold back tears
- The way some of you were surprised or caught off guard that I was speaking French the whole time during class and you didn’t even notice
Believe me, there are so many more memories that I could add to this list, but please know that I loved being your teacher, and I’m so sad to be leaving you all. If you need anything from me, ever, please let me know and I will be happy to help you in any way that I can.
Once more, please don’t stop taking French just because you’re sad that I’m gone. When I was in high school, I had one French teacher my freshman year, then a really amazing French teacher the two years after that. Then she had to leave. My senior year I was so upset that I didn’t take French at all (AP students, are you listening?!) and it’s a choice that I still regret making to this day. Don’t remember French class because of Madame, but remember how much fun it was and how much you actually know. I believe that all of you will do so well in the coming years, and I would hate to know that so much of your talent would go to waste.
There were a lot of things I wish I could have changed about the last two years, but having you as students was definitely not one of them. I hope that you understand why I made the choice I made.