Just like at the beginning of the year, my classroom sits empty, waiting for students to return.
This is a letter to all of my 2019-2020 seniors. You made it. You made it through maybe the weirdest school year ever on record. You made it through Socratic seminars, quizzes, tests, lectures, group work, partner work, early mornings, long days, and having to listen to my corny jokes. You did it because you are seniors, and you knew that this was your last hurrah.
When the pandemic hit, we all worried what that would mean for the rest of the year. But you rose to the occasion. You still signed in to class. You still came to Google Meet sessions. You still turned in work, even when the grading system changed. You made me proud, and you have nothing to hang your heads about.
I can't imagine being in your shoes. I mean, your prom and graduation were stripped from you. Your spring sports and activities were taken away, and with it, your ability to see your friends. Senior year is supposed to be the time to remember high school the most, and this will definitely be a time you will remember, but you may be asking yourself, 'Why me? Why did this have to happen to me?"
As I write this, there have been a confirmed 258,974 coronavirus deaths and 3,747,504 cases. More people died from the virus than the amount of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. That's a crazy number. I know I sound like a dad right now, but be grateful you are not a statistic.
Your new life begins now. You will move on from this. When you graduate college, you will forget all about how you were not able to properly graduate from high school. When you get promoted in the military or at your job, you will forget all about how you missed your friends during quarantine. And when you share your first dance with the person you marry, you will forget all about missing out on your prom. Now, you may end up taking all different paths in life. And that's okay. You may not choose to marry. You may not go to college, or the military. And that's okay. But follow your dreams, listen to your heart, and you will be happy. You are fighters. You made it this far, through the weirdest school year ever on record. You can make it through anything.
It's been a pleasure being your teacher.