Fare Thee Well

Dear AP Biology,

The end of a school year always brings a bag of mixed emotions. On one hand I am just as excited for my summer break as you are, but on the other I am sad to see my students go. Seeing YOUR class depart, however, is a bit more difficult than most. I've not yet figured out why, but I have some ideas. All of you, except Abel, Natalie, and Shaun, were in my first classes at CMA. Most of you I've taught multiple times. As a class I've pushed you harder than any that have gone before, and you rose to the challenge. You are the deepest thinking, biggest hearted, and most articulate class I've taught. I loved every minute of our roundtable discussions, labs (failed and successful), student-led teaching sessions, debates, movies, and early mornings.  You were a class that I knew I could challenge with anything and trust that you would step up. Over the course of the year you conducted yourselves with incredible maturity in your dealings with me and with your fellow classmates. You became incredibly tight as a class. While you may not have quite been a family, you certainly looked like one on a regular basis. Within our class I knew that there was trust and safety for open discussion and that each of you understood that you could benefit from the words of others. Oh yeah, and we were on the front page of the newspaper and hosted any wandering tour that came through CMA.

Throw on top of all of this the fact that you are the first class to which I announced I was going to be a father and the only class from which I received baby gifts. Thank you for making this year what it was. Regardless of the outcome of the AP Exams, I'm proud of each and every one of you. A couple of specific shout outs I'd like to offer:

To Winta for holding the distinction as the only person ever to ace an AP test. (Thanks for the suspenders and Bow Tie)

To Omari for being our resident philosopher and renaissance man.

To Shaun for speaking words that are wise beyond his years.

To Mel for silently helping everyone around you succeed. (Thanks for the picture frame)

To Lily for always contributing to the conversation at just the right moment. (Thank you for the frame also)

To Peter for fighting for understanding. Not just grades.

To Ana for stepping up to any and every opportunity. (Thanks for the sweet baby outfit)

To Fabian for not being afraid to question everything.

To Natalie for never giving up.

To Abel for developing the courage to be curious and as good questions.

Really the above list just scratches the surface. I could spend the next hour writing about all of the potential that I see in each and every one of you. For now, though, I shall just send you off with the prayer that each of you will find the thing that you were built to do. For me, it is teaching. Teaching is the thing that brings me joy and makes me think. Challenges me and brings me fulfillment. My hope is that each of you will find your way into such a future. Remember, in the end, you are the one that has to live your life. Snatch the opportunities as they come, walk through open doors, and build those networks. In 10 years I hope to hear incredible stories about all of the wonderful things you have done.

You've been my best AP Bio class to date, for that, I thank you. If you have any memories or shout outs that you would like to add. Leave the in the comments below. Enjoy your summer!