An Open Letter to my Middle School Students

April 15, 2021

In August, we embarked on an unprecedented journey together. Words like social distancing, cohorts, and hybrid learning became staple vocabulary. Hallways suddenly controlled your path to class. No longer would you be able to linger at your locker joking with your friends. Together we embarked on the academic journey that brought me both relief and fear. 

I spent the summer preparing our school to return to learn. I couldn’t wait to fill the halls with your beautiful faces. Yet, I scrutinized every decision to ensure your safety. I found myself in a continuous state of stress. I knew you needed to be at school. I desperately wanted to conquer the fear consuming our society. But I also questioned every decision I made. Could I guarantee your safety? Was I doing all I could to protect you while educating you at the same time?

The first few weeks of the school year broke my heart. The silence of the cafeteria. The masks hindering you from engaging with each other. I worried further if it was the right decision. 

But gradually, I saw glimpses of you returning. Your beautiful, carefree natures began to emerge. 

Your mark on my heart is indelible. Together, we all navigated a pandemic. I never imagined what would unfold in our lives Friday, March 13, 2020, when I sent you home for Spring Break after an impromptu family meeting.

Together, we locked arms this year and grew. You fill my days with joy.

But I won’t lie.

I still spend many sleepless nights consumed with worry. Sometimes, in the halls and at lunch, I observe your internal and external battles. I wonder how best to guide you toward honorable leadership and life-long learning.

I believe in you with all of my heart. With all of my heart.

Your response to this historic event has the power to mold and shape your future in mighty ways. I repeat.

I. Believe. In. You.

You are poised to change our world because you navigate hard things with strength. Over the past year, you endured disappointment. Each challenge you faced, each hurdle you conquered built resilience within you. The resilience you likely thought, at the moment, you could do without. At times, I wonder if you even recognize your strength. 

My final assignment to you for the 2020-2021 school year is this. Go change the world. I’m counting on you. I love you forever. I like you for always. As long as I’m living my students you’ll be.

You Matter.

Love, Mrs. Worley