Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Students' Last Words

This is perhaps a very self-involved post. For that I apologize. But I think my fellow ETA Christine said it perfectly when she wrote on her blog, "I never really knew how much I impacted my students. I didn't realize how closely they paid attention. They remember everything--events and lessons that happened my first month as a teacher. In fact, they remember the first day they met me."
Her realization came when she read her students' goodbye letters. My goodbye postcards led me to the same conclusion. I mean, I always knew that the students look at me closely, but I don't think I really believed that many of them actually listened and thought about what I said. But they remembered and wrote about things that I said that I forgot I said until I read their notes.
So, without further ado, a selection of my students' goodbyes:

"When you watch my class play soccer I am to be a goal kepper and you say to me god job!"

"Miss Sarah introduced us about America and many fun things. I enjoyed them. Thank's Miss Sarah. I will miss you!"

"[Remember] my smile and my first shake hand with you." [This deserves some explanation. 99% of the kids I teach are moderately conservative Muslims--by which I mean they observe the 5 times daily prayer, the girls wear jilbabs, their activities are fairly gender-segregated, etc. I have one student, or perhaps more that I haven't noticed, who is very conservative to the point that he never touches women EVER. Not even for an Indonesian handshake, not by accident, not ever. It's not that I'm in the habit of touching my students, but when I arrived I did shake all of their hands and have them tell me thier names. This boy would not touch my hand. No big deal, I respect that. We bowed to each other. On the last day of class, I gave each student a penny and I shook their hands again. Well, I came to this boy and I carefully handed him his penny making sure to sort of drop it into his hand. And I started to do the little head-bow thing when...he stuck out his hand. Rather awed, I shook his hand. It was weak and only about half our hands touched and it lasted only around 2 seconds, but it happened. I don't know what conclusion to draw, but he's correct: I will always remember that I was his first real handshake.]

"Your grand mother known an Indonesian who live in America."

"I learned about your culture. I learned about Amerika. I played American's games with you and with my classmate. So happy to study with you. We'll miss you. I hope we can meet again. With love, M----"

"Miss Sarah, with you I'm became know about America and your family, my class became fun class and happy class. With you Im can more understand."

"My class is very noisy. My friends are fuzy. I thing my class is trouble maker."

"You make us laught."

"When your family came to Magelang, I am the person who gave the question about BOSTON Tea Party to Neil." [Remember him, Neil?]

"My quality is polite and merry."

"I learn about parts of human body, sports, many verb and positive thinking."

"And thank you Miss Sarah for you goodness. In my class, and SMK N1 Magelang. And for your forbearance."

"I'm taller than you but you are cleverer than me."

"FYI, don't forget that me and some of my friends ever played UNO with you. I won't forget when you say to me 'You wear jeans when you're in the church?'...Well, I'll miss you so much...Don't forget Bakmi Jendralan and Mrs. Rion as the owner of Bakmi Jendralan...Believe it or not but you make get new spirit. Spirit for learning languages. Well, before I finish. Do you remember when we talking while we watching soccer in SMK N1? You say that Indonesian boys are very cute and short, but I said to you that they seems like 'POCKET.' And finally, I can make you laugh at the same time. I like your smile, Miss. I'll miss it... I think it's enough. Thanks for your chance. I miss you, and nice to meet you. Adios, amigo!" [Everyone knows I eat at Bakmi Jendralan...and I know they all know because SO many of them wrote about it.]

"I am the boy that my leg is hurt (not sick) hehe."

"I proud, I can know Ms. Sarah and her family."

"I am a silent. I am fat. And I am veiled."

"If you still remember, I am your match when matching a question with the answer like [drawing of a broken heart] the color of the paper is purple...In your lesson, I have studied many things. They are about America, expression for answer our condition like 'how are you?' 'I'm super', parts of body, sing many songs. And there are eight rules in the first class It my pleasure to study with you. I'm happy. Thanks for your lesson. So long, my lovely teacher."

"I hope I can visit in America actually in Vermount because I ant to meet you again Miss Sarah."

"I think you can't call my name correctly."

"About my country, here, everytime the sun shine brightly, and it can make your skin change into brown."

"And I want to say to you that I really missed you if you back to America."

"I will always remember Miss Sarah because she nice, friendly, and teach us with games method."

"New things and games you've given us. You're my 1st English teacher who brings a lot of changing in English lesson."

"I'll not forget when in my class there is Miss Sarah because she is very beautiful."

"I am very friendly and crazy. I love you and I will always remember with you. Miss Sarah will unforgetable in my heart."

"I am not handsome but I am is funny."

"English is my life."

"It's me. Spike hair, good eyes, always come late to go to class, I'm shy boy, I always smile when you look at me..."

"It's me: Take me out Indonesia (The name you called to me)...I am very happy when you here but you must go back to your country. I wish you succes there. I hope we can met again." [Actually, I called him 'Take me outta Indonesia"...long story.]

"I learn about jokes in America. We learned by Miss Sarah about that with match two pieces of paper."

"I know 1MA is a well class in the meet firs student always absent, but now student no absent in your lesson and student become diligent and smart."

"I'm slim and tall like is coconut tress."

"The lesson of Miss Sarah always be color full with games and I like."

"I am the mustache and beard boy."

"I learn about Valentine's day, sports, plants, and game."

"I learn speak English. Now I am can speak English."

"I love my teachers, included you Sarah."

"Miss Sarah is very peatient."

"If I to meet Miss Sarah, my class very fun. Many game, smile, song, etc."

"She like telling a story and singing together. I like Miss Sarah."

"I like Miss Sarah because she is cute and smart."

"Miss Sarah always make ours happy."

"I think study is must for me. So, if I study I feel very happy. Miss Sarah is one of the teacher with very good for me. She has says 'you are cute students.' So, I feel very interisting if I study with her."

"Learning English with Miss Sarah is easy."

"Goodbye Miss Sarah. Nice to meet you! We love you! 1EA, SMK N1 Magelang, and Indonesia will never forget you."

"Miss Sarah is teacher fun."

"May you not forget we in Indonesia."

"I am like if Sarah angry Miss Sarah can lion."

"English is adventure to me."

"I'm so funny study with Miss Sarah because she is confidant and she like to lough."

"Happy moment play a game."

"I learn about respect." [WOW!]

"English is my favorite lesson."

"Miss Sarah give me many education."

"I like Miss Sarah because the studying is happy. Miss Sarah is energetic. Many game with she. So, I'm not bored."

"I'm small and I'm black sweet. I'm cute and enough handsome."

"I like Miss Sarah's lesson when the event of Halloween's party."

"Miss Sarah is teacher profesional."

"Miss you so much my teacher! You will always be in my memories!"

"Miss Sarah is a joker. She often make me laught. I love her so much. She is also friendly teacher, good teacher, and the teacher which full of smile. I like her so much!! If I may to say honestly...I will saying...I really really really really really really really really REALLY LOVE you Miss Sarah, you are the one cute teacher I have till the day I die. You will always in my mind!!"


  1. I love it : ) I love this post! You will love it forever...

    "I think you cannot say my name correctly." : ) When I see you, I will tell you a few of my funnier comments that I didn't post!

  2. Yes" thank you for your goodness " Might not be standard English but beautiful.