The week leading up to my retirement in May, a couple of teachers did a really nice thing. They encouraged students that were in my Strength and Conditioning class to write “thank you” letters and cards to me.
I received about 80 of these notes!
What these 7th and 8th graders wrote was sweet, thoughtful, and revealing. I think that because they knew I was leaving, they felt comfortable really opening up…. and they did.
Here are some excerpts from a few of their letters….
“You have motivated and inspired us to be physically and mentally strong. We will use this strength for the rest of our lives.”
“From you, I learned about confidence and never giving up… and I thank you so much for that”
“Thank you for everything you have taught me this year… mentally, four words, “you can do more” mean so much and apply to all things”
“You made me stronger and taught me how to compete and never give up”
“Thank you for teaching me how to be a better athlete and compete. I will carry these skills throughout high school and life.”
“You motivated me and made me believe I can do anything and not to give up. I feel like I can do more because of you and I appreciate that.”
“You taught me how to push myself and try my best all of the time.”
“I want to thank you for pushing me to do my vest, believing in me, and for never letting me give up”
“I have improved in so many ways, both mentally and physically, and I know it will help me the rest of my life.”
“This class made me both mentally and physically stronger and made me more competitive”
“Thank you for always pushing me to work hard. I will carry everything you taught me throughout my life.”
“This class also helped build up my self confidence and helped my focus”
“Thank you for helping me push through and do things I thought were nearly impossible. I will always remember you and use your advice for the rest of my life!”
“I have learned more about myself this year in weightlifting than I could have imagined. Without this class I wouldn’t be the person or athlete I am today.”
“Because of the strength and conditioning class I accomplished that goal, and now maybe I could accomplish the other goals on my Goal Card like go to BYU!”
“I just want you to know that you have changed my point of view in about everything! You have showed me that no matter the challenge, I could accomplish it as long as I do my best. I want you to know that you have affected my life greatly and I wont ever forget you.”
“Thank you for always pushing me in the weight room, sports, academics, etc. You have had a big impact on my life.”
“You helped me become a better athlete and person by pushing me and never letting me quit even if I wanted to.”
You can probably see for yourself that there are some common threads running through the notes from these thoughtful young adults. Here are some of my takeaways:
- They want to be pushed… they want to work hard
- They want someone to believe in them
- They know they are learning life skills
I shared these heartfelt comments not to pat myself on the back, but so you will realize THIS…
You have kids in your program that feel the same way about you… but since you aren’t retiring, you aren’t afforded the luxury (and enjoyment) of reading 80 thank you cards.
Those kids are out there… they are counting on you… they are looking up to you… they want you to inspire and push them… they want you to believe in them.
They need you… and you make a difference in their lives.
Yours is an awesome job with awesome responsibilities.
Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org