Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dear Students

Dear Students,

I will not be returning as your teacher for the second semester. I think we can all agree teaching is not my calling. That said, I was very happy to have you all as my students. Your personalities and energy kept my day interesting. One of the main differences between school in Egypt and school in the States is that in Egypt, students want to relate to their teachers as they would a friend. This took some getting used to but in the end I really enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to get to know you all and I hope that we can stay in touch. If I could give you one last assignment it would be to write to me and tell me your thoughts on the revolution. I would love to hear your reactions and your predictions for the future of your country. So please write, tell me what you think!

As you continue your studies and then move on to careers, I hope you'll keep the following in mind:
1. Things are more likely to go wrong when you're in a hurry. This is something a teacher of mine told me in high school and I'm sure glad he did. For example, if you're running late for your first day of work, watch out, because this is probably when you'll lock your keys in your car.
2. Machines can tell when you're trying to do something important. You've already seen this to be true. Your printer works until you actually need to print out an assignment that is due. Keep this in mind. It helps to actually tell the machine that you know their trick and not to worry because you are not actually in a hurry.
3. Think for yourself. I'm only slightly farther down the road than you but what I am learning now is that we all see the world differently - and this is okay. At the end of the day, your thoughts make up who you are. It is okay to disagree with what you hear in class or even what your friends say. Finding out what you truly believe in and then communicating that clearly is what education is all about. Surprise: there is no right answer (except on my quizzes.)
4. Education is not just a check in the box. Please, please don't be afraid to make mistakes or ask questions. Training your mind to think critically is a dynamic, fluid process. Education is not just something that happens if you are physically present in school for 12 years. It is something you work at and develop according to your own style and interests.
5. Live deliberately. This one you've heard before, but it's true. Our time on Earth is short and I believe much better spent living a life thinking and acting with intention. As you have just witnessed, you can do whatever you want - the world is yours for the taking. So it's time to start deciding what kind of person you want to be, what kind of work you want to do, and start making your place in the world.

I hope this helps. Please don't take my departure personally. If anything you guys had me double guessing my decision. I hope to get emails from all of you soon telling me your thoughts about the new Egypt. Also, please contact me if you're ever in need of college recommendations, etc. or just some general advice or guidance.

You guys are the best.

Much love,

Miss Erica

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