I failed you. And I am deeply sorry.
None of you took away any more from my class than a mark on your report. And for most of you, even that was disappointing. Looking back on the year we spent together, I realise what an ordeal it must have been for you: getting nothing from me but an explanation of what was in your syllabus.
You will not look back in ten or twenty years from now and remember your Geography lessons. You will not remember how your confidence in yourselves was nurtured. You will not remember how you learnt to overcome your own self-imposed limitations. You will not remember how you were motivated to go out and conquer the world… or at least to make some small change for the good. You will not remember these things because they did not happen. I did not allow them to happen.
I desperately hope that you got these lessons from another teacher. You did not get them from me. I can only express my remorse and try to make it right with the class of 2013… and every single one of those that follow.
I could quite reasonably stitch together a patchwork of excuses and blame everyone else but myself. Other kind people are doing that for me. And I had very many incredible successes with my other classes… But I will not shift the blame. And the reason I cannot do so is simple: I was a mediocre teacher to you, the class of 2012. You know I tried hard. But it was not enough.
I was mediocre.
I did not try to relate to you as young people, each with your own very personal struggles. I did not reach out to you and try to enthuse you as individuals. I did not defy you to improve, to conquer challenges, to assert yourselves, to think innovatively, and to discover within yourselves that one special thing that will make you exceptional.
I have taken this all very personally. But I have to try and turn it into something positive. I do not aim to forget what I did to you, but I do want to channel our experience in 2012 and use it to inspire me to make it better for the young minds who find themselves in my class now and in the future.
Another year like yours and my conscience will drive me to tender my resignation. I don’t think I could bear letting another class down so badly.
I hope your lives turn out to be everything you want them to be. I hope you forget me and my class. But please know that I will not forget you. As distraught as I am to have missed the opportunity to embolden your spirits, inspire you to dream, and to expand your minds, I am compelled by this failure to make it better for those who follow you.
Go well, class of 2012. May all of your dreams come true. May you conquer every challenge life throws your way. May you find contentment and fulfilment. May you shine a light for others in a way that I failed to do for you.
I will think of you often.
My sincerest kind wishes.