Normally, I try to recognize my son's teachers before the end of school, but this year has been just too crazy to make that happen. So this is an email I sent to them all. They are a really special bunch.
Now that Z has graduated from middle school, I want to take a minute to thank you all for making his 8th grade year such a great one.
When he first came to Imagine in 7th grade, he was one beaten down kid. His previous middle school was a zoo and he was being bullied mercilessly - and the school did nothing to stop it. I got him out as fast as I could and was thrilled to get a recommendation from Tasha Weinstein that pointed us to you.
In two short years, Z's grades improved drastically and he finally has some real friends. The turnaround is truly amazing and I think we have you all and Imagine School to thank for that.
Mr. B - You helped Z feel safe when he first came to this school. You have no idea what a big deal that was for him, having felt so un-safe at his last school.
Mr. A - you got Z involved in his first extracurricular club, which paved the way for others. He also has loved your Latin and Science classes and I think perhaps he learned a little of the art of discussion from you.
Mrs. D - You re-ignited the magic of math for him. He was always a funny kid, thinking about math and coming up with his own theories about it from when he was little. The math teacher at his previous school showed him just how un-fun it could be made and stomped his joy in math right out of him. You brought it back.
Mrs. G - You managed to open up a whole world of possibilities to Z. He really enjoyed the drama classes, which in turn let him find new ways to express himself. And the trip to DC was an amazing experience for him. Thanks for taking that on - I know how much work that must have been.
Mrs. M - I don't know how you did it. Since Z was little, his dad has been trying to get him interested in playing the guitar, but he just didn't want to do it. Now, he carries the guitar around the house and spends time playing it alone and with his dad. He has always been musical, trying out piano and violin but nothing really clicked - until now.
Mrs. Z - You must have had an interesting time with your Art Therapy group... I know Z loved participating. He never knew what you'd have them doing from one week to the next, which kept him interested and enthusiastic. He also got to explore different ways to express himself, though sketching is still his favorite.
Mr. S - You managed to get Z to enjoy painting. I didn't think he EVER would - he always maintained that he hated it because he was no good at it. That last project with the painting of the school changed his mind. He thinks he might want to do more of that. Art Club was so much fun for him!
In your own ways, you all have helped Z learn more about himself and how to be himself in the world, in addition to teaching him the stuff that the State of Florida says he needs to be taught. You've made him ready, and actually looking forward to going to high school next year. This is no small task and I thank you all for the part you played in doing so.