A Letter to My Students

Dear Young Heart,

My classroom is empty. You have left for the day. A trail of papers, candy wrappers, and angst in your wake. Desks sit vacant. I sit still. So much I wish to teach. So many lessons I want you to learn—desperate for you to understand.

An Empty Classroom

What Really Matters

Dear Young Heart

And so I write them. I write because when I try to tell you out-loud, I’m not sure if you’re listening. Do you hear me? Are your ears are open? Because some days that wall around your heart is just so dang high.

But I’m a climber.

And I ache to reach out and touch those scarred places, those places where you hurt. I want you to know someone really does care. That you really can be somebody in this world. You’re meant for a life of significance. Of meaning.

You were created for brilliance.

And so I teach. I teach here, on this page. I teach the lessons that really matter. The lessons of life…

    • Algebra? I don’t care what people say. You will use it. Well, at least some of it.
    • Grammar? You will use it. Forever. All of it. Don’t argue.
    • Failure should never be an option.
    • Because though you may fail, you are no failure.
    • Because failure is refusing to try one more time. And you have time to try again.
    • Success is not defined by your Twitter followers or number of Facebook friends. Success is doing what you love, no matter how difficult the job.
    • Go to class. Study hard. But know, sometimes the greatest lessons of life are learned on the playground.
    • Don’t cheat. Even in the smallest of tests. You won’t be ready for life’s big tests if you do.
    • Learn from your mistakes or you will become them.
    • Look up from the screen in your hand. The world is a beautiful place.
    • Gratitude brings forth joy. Be grateful for everything.
    • Rise above the hate. The gossip. The drama.
    • Embrace the strange and unique—the new. You may find it speaks powerfully to your soul.
    • The kid in class you don’t understand? You mumble about under your breath? His scars are deeper than yours.
    • Defend your beliefs and stand tall.
    • Maintain opinions based only on what you’ve heard and you will always fall.
    • Your first love? A piece of your heart is gone forever. No matter what happens.
    • Choose friends carefully. They have the power to strengthen your character or weaken your resolve.
    • Your real friends know and love the real you. Even if you don’t.
    • Create memories with your friends you can be proud to tell your own children one day. Not those you want to bury in shame. I’ve been there. And regrets are real.
    • Regrets are not wrong, rather motivators for a positive change.
    • Your family may influence who you are, but they do not define you.
    • Refuse to be a victim of your circumstance. Choose to fight, to claw, to climb your way out.
    • Fire has the power to destroy or strengthen. In life, we are all held to the flame. How we react to the flame shapes our existence.
    • Act on your convictions, not emotions.
    • Make the hard choices, even when they’re not popular.
    • Choose intelligence. Every. Single. Time.
    • Discovering who you are is a process—Not one single moment of clarity. No need to be rushed.
    • And really knowing yourself? It will come…just not yet.
    • Those tears you think no one sees? God stands ready to count each one as it slips down your cheek because He is beside you when there is no one left.
    • Because there is a God. He knows your name. He sacrificed everything for you.
    • I wish you could see what I see. I see potential—Potential in each and every pair of eyes that stare back at me.
    • You are capable of the spectacular. The Spectacular!
    • Those who say you can’t? Prove the wrong.
    • Prove them wrong.
    • Prove them wrong.
    • I believe in you.
    • I believe in you.
    • I believe in you.
    • You are loved.
    • You are loved.
    • You.
    • Are.
    • Loved.

With Hope,

Mrs. Iseminger

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15 Responses to A Letter to My Students

  1. Lisa Rees says:

    I enjoyed the read, and feel and can relate to your desire to show that God has a purpose for everyone in spite of ourselves or how others may have hurt or mistreated us. The damaged really draw me in, too. Sweet.Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very well said! Exactly how I feel, but I could never put it as perfectly written as you did!

  3. Polly Pounders says:

    Absolutely beautiful…your words are powerful! Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful word!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Amazing. You have put onto paper all the feelings you have talked about as you speak about your students. God has gifted you with the ability to put onto paper all your feelings, your knowledge, and the love you have for His Son, Jesus. Keep writing my precious daughter. Love mom

  6. Anonymous says:

    Heather,
    This is perfect. You put my very own thoughts and feelings down on paper, I can’t wait for Lauryn to come home today so I can show her this. You are so talented and I am very proud of you. Keep it up, your words are inspiring to so many people. I love you.

    Love,

    Tori

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I wish I had had a teacher like that.

  8. Emily Anderson says:

    I enjoyed reading this a lot. I think you’re a wonderful teacher,very talented, and a great inspiration to everyone.
    4 more months until my graduation and you’re still my favorite teacher that I have had!

  9. Liz says:

    How lucky they are to have you.

  10. Lynda says:

    Well and beautifully said Mi Amiga. See at WWs.

  11. Mary Odell says:

    Oh, that every child had a teacher like you! Beautifully expressed.

  12. jpdizz says:

    May I borrow some of this?

    • You are welcome to use parts with a few guidelines. Please do not repost my entire blog. You may use an excerpt with a link back to PetalsofJoy.org. If you would like to use outside of the web, I would ask that you follow standard citation rules. I am honored by your request:-)

  13. L. Carlon says:

    This is wonderful – as a teacher, you expressed beautifully what is in my heart for students. Thank you so much – and have a wonderful school year. God bless!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Very well said. I think very highly of you, and am definitely looking forward to the rest of the year in your class. Thank you.

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