Two of our veteran teachers have decided to leave us at the end of this school year to raise their families; which is a good thing! However, I will miss working and associating with them each day!
I want to genuinely express my appreciation for all of their contributions to our school. I thought about giving them each a bouquet of flowers. However, I decided at the last moment to give them something that would last a little longer; something they could hopefully enjoy and get more out of in the long run.
I anticipate they both will enjoy reading The Divine Center by Stephen R. Covey, (1982). There is not a month that goes by I don’t refer to this book for advice in one form or another. Advice on how to deal with human relationships and how to keep them in proper perspective.
An Open Letter to Cami and Candice
First, I want to thank you both for all of the wonderful and amazing things you have contributed to building and enriching our school. In my humble opinion, you are great teachers, in a myriad of ways, and I will miss you!
Second, I have witnessed and experienced–over the years–the many personal sacrifices you both have made. Sacrifices not only for our school, and for your students, but more remarkable for the other teachers who you both have worked with there.
I know I have gradually changed to become a better person partly because of your individual and collective examples.
Some of the things I have learned from you both and many others — Traelle Gailey, Carley Williams, Jenni Zacher, etc. — and continue to work on, is that I now try to choose thoughts that are more flexible and not so rigid; soft, not hard.
I try to think more with humility and not my ego; with detachment, not attachment.
Also, the idea of not interfering so much in the lives of others has replaced my disposition to meddle and give advice when it is not sought. I now opt for contentment, rather than ambition; arriving, not striving… just living in the moment.
Most significantly, I choose thoughts that I feel are congruous with God and nature rather than the illusion of self-importance conjured up by self-ego.
I want you both to know that it is you, and other loving and caring people like you, who have effected this change and instilled a desire to more consistently exercise the propensities of my better nature which I admit is ofttimes a challenge for me.
Team of a Lifetime
You are the last two of that particular group of teachers we had for a time. Teachers I learned so much from about love, kindness, and considering the needs of others before my own needs.
Furthermore, I want you both to know with much heartfelt gratitude how appreciative I am to you, and the others in that group for “that and much more”… and yes I will say it, I do love and respect you two immensely!
I also feel, with your departure, that I have come full circle in this segment of my journey. I can now look back where I began about three years ago and see more clearly; as if with new eyes and much-improved filters!
This realization comes with an accompanying sense of peace in knowing that the questions and fears I once had; I now have experiences with, answers to, and self-confidence in. I now have a greater appreciation and understanding of relationships and friendships in the workplace and in general.
However, with these answers, it appears there are new questions. For example, how does one know when a cycle has ended? I suppose one cannot know this since time and change marches on, and these circles continue to rotate and evolve.
Perhaps this idea of coming “full circle” is just a momentary perception that there is a conclusion before someone or something else comes along to begin a new journey.
That thought just made me recognize that there may still be a few pieces of the puzzle missing from this circle and that it will only be complete by just letting go, learning from the experiences, and treasuring the memories.
With that said, permit me to share the following thoughts with you.
“You are so young; you stand before beginnings. I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present, you need to live the question.
“Perhaps, you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. Perhaps, you are indeed carrying within yourself the potential to visualize, to design, and to create for yourself an utterly satisfying, joyful, and pure lifestyle. Discipline yourself to attain it, but accept that which comes to you with deep trust, and as long as it comes from your own will, from your own inner need, accept it, and do not hate anything.” ~ An excerpt from The Fourth Letter in Letters to a Young Poet from Rainer Maria Rilke.
Finally, I wish you both happiness and prosperity in your new endeavors and am so happy for you and the decisions you have made for your family’s future; even though we will all greatly miss you! I also hope that you both have a life as lucky as mine; where you can wake up one morning and say to yourself, “I have enough… there isn’t anything more I want for me!”
Thanks for bearing with me as I have tried to express some of my thoughts and feelings with you… there is no way I could have done so three years ago and–with thanks in part to both of you and others–now I can and know I am a better person for it.
Godspeed Cami and Candice!
Images – Post and Rich Snippets image: “teacher” by cookbookqueen is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Quote – I’ve Come Full Circle: A Post That Everyone Should Read …(n.d.). Retrieved from https://heartofacurioustraveler.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/full-circle/.