Dear Cascade Family,
I'm not entirely sure how to start this email, so I'll just jump in (and if you're newer to Cascade and don't know me very well, feel free to ignore ;)
For the past eight years I have called Cascade my home. I student taught here (thanks Janet for organizing and Emily for sharing your students with me) which launched my career as a first (and now third) grade teacher. Basically, I've grown up here. Today is my last day before I start my maternity leave as my family welcomes our second son into the world. While I am overjoyed about the gift of growing my family, I am finding it really hard to say goodbye. Many of you know that I am taking next year off to be home with my family; after that I'm not sure what the future holds. I could very well be back at Cascade, or life could take me down another path. I'm just not sure, which is why today feels monumental to me. It's the end of an era in my career and I am really going to miss being part of this community.
I wish I had the energy (I blame pregnancy and swollen ankles for this) to write each one of you a personal note to let you know how much you've meant to me during this season in my life...but this email will have to suffice.
Thank you for believing in me and for pushing me to be better. I can honestly say that without the guidance and support I found in you, I would have given up long ago. Teaching is so hard, and yet it's such honorable work that I am beyond thankful to have been a part of here at Cascade. Thanks for reminding me that it's first and always about the kids, even on the hardest of days. Thanks for holding my hand when I needed it and for letting me try new things when I needed to grow. And for those who worked closely with me, thanks for letting me cry when I just needed to let it out. Thank you for nudging me out of my comfort zone. For teaching me that I learn and grow the most from mistakes and challenges. For encouraging me and bringing out my strengths, and for sharing yours with me through collaboration.
I could honestly go on and on...
Thank you doesn't seem like enough, but from the bottom of my heart I am so thankful for you!
I wish you all the best as you enter into the final stretch of the school year. I know that next year will be an incredible one, as you continue the hard, good work that you're doing at Cascade!
PS: Don't worry - I'll be back to visit this spring, and of course I'll bring Ellis and big brother Harry to visit!!! It may take a little while to get into a groove, but once we are...get ready for baby snuggles! :)