I remember one day during my first year of teaching when a college professor asked me what surprised me most about teaching. And the first thing that came to mind was how much I loved my students. I remember that first week of teaching, being so overwhelmed and so tired, but looking around my classroom after you left and thinking, "I LOVE these kids!"
And you know what? It happens every year. Sometime during that first month of school I inevitably look around and feel this incredible love for you. Usually it brings tears to my eyes as I realize that, once again, my heart has grown to fit 200 more thirteen-year-olds. And then throughout the year you will do something that reminds me of the reasons I love you.
Your high fives and hugs and knuckles and "snails".
Your jokes - especially when you don't exactly mean to be funny.
Your writing, and those moments when you FINALLY understand.
Your excitement for life.
When you move on to high school, I will miss you. You may not believe me, but there is something about each one of you that gives you a special place in my heart. So thank you - thanks for being you, thanks for making me smile, thanks for keeping me young.
And most of all, thanks for being my valentines this year.