This week in our Summer Fellows' Final Reflections series Sarah wrote a thank you note to all the wonderful people she worked with this year. arah is continuing working in education with her very own elementary school classroom! 

Traditionally speaking, this last blog post is where Fellows contribute their final thoughts and reflections of the year. I began mine in a similar fashion, but as I kept writing I found that I continued to use the phrase “thank you.” So instead of going over my year and my take aways in a linear fashion, I’m choosing to write a thank you note.

First and foremost, thank you seniors:

This year was yours, and I am so incredibly proud of the work you’ve put in, and the people you have become. In just a year I’ve seen you all grow, and you’ve changed me so profoundly as an educator. Thank you for inviting me into your lives and sharing some of the most exciting pieces with me. You are all going to find success, whatever paths you choose, and I cannot wait to see what you do with the world.

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Thank you to my regulars:

To the small group of students who I have bonded so closely with over this school year: Having you spend a part of your day, every day, with me meant so much. Thank you for letting me be a part of your hardships and your high points. I am so incredibly proud of you and all of your work. You have made me feel appreciated, loved, and respected here at Hill Freedman. I am so happy I could make school feel a little more like home, and please know you did the same for me.

Thank you to the student body of Hill Freedman:

As a collective group, you have all made my passion for education root deeper and deeper. I have gotten to know nearly all of you in some capacity. I know your strengths and challenges, your likes and dislikes, and how to make you laugh. You have all taught me how to better reach students, how to be a more effective educator, and you all taught me in one way or another this year.

Thank you teachers & administration:

Thank you for your work, time, patience, and partnership. So much of what we do relies on support from you. You have helped 12+ thrive at Hill Freedman, and we are able to do our jobs better and support our students more effectively because of how you have worked with us.

Thank you Team HFWA:

Through and through we are truly a team. I got to experience the highest highs and lowest lows with you this year. All with an incredible amount of love and support along the way. Jesse and Ernest: in your own ways you have both taught me an incredible amount, you have kept me grounded, and most importantly you have worked with me to bring the magic of 12+ to Hill Freedman. I am so grateful for you two. Thank you for being my starfish.

And Finally: Thank you 12+:

The people within this organization are some of the brightest, hardest working people I’ve encountered. Each with their own set of strengths and talents that they bring to the table. I am so honored to have gotten to work with each and every one of you. Thank you. For perpetuating our mission, for bringing our students your smiles and knowledge, and for never ever backing down at the challenges that are sometimes thrown our way. Each of you embodies “Believe. Act. Inspire.” in some way each and every day. And you have all impacted not only our students, but also your coworkers this year.

I am so happy that I chose to work for 12+ this year. I have learned invaluable lessons that I will carry for years to come. I have learned so much about the School District of Philadelphia and the students we serve. As this school year comes to a close, and I look back fondly on the things I’ve accomplished, I also anticipate the next one to come. I am so thrilled to enter the School District of Philadelphia as an elementary level emotional support teacher and look forward to all of the opportunities that entails.

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