Dear 2012 Me:

I almost started with “you don’t know me, but. . .,” but you DO know me!  I am you but the year is now 2013.  What should I tell you now that I have survived the year you are about to begin?

First I would tell you to stop fretting.  Stop thinking about what is going to happen next year, next month, next week, tomorrow, this afternoon.  Savor the moment you are in.  You are a school teacher.  Yes, you have been teaching school for a long time.  Thirty years!  But stop thinking about how you can’t wait until the last day of school before you retire, and focus on those kids who are looking to you.

They are looking to you for many things.  You may be the only adult they can count on to be there for them day after day.  You may be the only adult in their lives who smiles at them or listens to them, or speaks to them.  In today’s world it is critical that you provide a safe haven for the students in your classroom, and that you make them feel important and welcome.  Sooner than you think, they will leave your classroom forever, opportunities to make a difference in their lives gone.

Dear 2012 Self, not only should you savor your last moments at work, you should savor the moments at home.  Stop fretting about the repairs that need to be done and the chores that will always be there.  Enjoy the home you have been blessed with.  Enjoy the family that surrounds you.  Enjoy it all.  Sooner than you think, it can change.  Just ask someone who is grieving the loss of a family member or their home.  

2012 Me, congratulate yourself as well.  You have accomplished many things.  You will accomplish even more this coming year.  Go forward with gratitude and confidence.  Stop worrying about your appearance and start minding your manners.  Stop trying to impress others and start blessing others.  Stop taking and start giving.  Then, when you make it here, to 2013, you can look back with satisfaction on a year well-lived.  Blessings to you, dear 2012 Self!


By aencoker

Author, teacher, mom, grandmother, but most of all, Christian.

6 replies on “Dear 2012 Me:”

A beautiful letter. I truly love that you are committing yourself to being present for your students…for all of the reasons that you listed. It becomes so easy for us when we are tired and feeling burned out or used up and thinking ahead to what we want/need to forget what is happening in the present moments. I love that you recognize there are students for whom you might be \”the only one\”, that you still have the ability to change a life, to be that listener to be that role model and that example. The world needs more educators like you.


What a great letter! My parent's are both retired educators. My mom put in over thirty years in title-one and reading recovery, while my dad taught 8th grade algebra. I have so much respect for educators, especially those who teach for the right reasons and actually care about their students. I don't know where I would be without the amazing public educators who shaped my life. Thanks for participating in our community blogging project. I look forward to reading your posts throughout the year and getting to know each other. Best,Hillary


Thank you, Hillary! You understand the sacrifices, the devotion, the hope, the torn-ness (between family and school), and the dedication of an educator! I always loved my students and sometimes had to choose between my duty as a mentor and my duty to my family. I always chose my family but grieved if it meant my students didn't get what they needed. Thank you!


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