THE BLOG
02/13/2014 10:37 am ET | Updated Apr 15, 2014

A Letter to My Second Graders

To my sweet, second-grade students,

I have some very important things to tell you. I mean, super important. You ready? Turn on your best listening ears. Open up those learning eyes nice and wide. Get that brain warmed up. Because what I'm about to tell you is something that I hope you'll always remember.

In fact, if you leave my class at the end of this year and forget some of what I've taught you except for this, that's okay. I know you won't remember everything.

But always remember this: You matter. You are loved. And you are a gift to this world.

Wait, I'm not finished. Not even close. So keep those learning eyes wide open and keep reading, kiddos.

You know how in the mornings we sit in our circle spots and talk about our days? We talk about the ups and downs, our dreams and our accomplishments. We talk about what we're excited about, scared about, happy about, mad about. We talk to each other. We listen to each other.

We've come a long way since the first day of school and now we are a family in Room 203. Anyone who visits our classroom can easily see that.

You are leaders who show love, compassion, kindness and bravery. I love you all so much, and that's why I do my best to be brave for you.

You know how every now and then you have days that just don't go your way? I'm talkin' about Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day kinda days. Yeah, those days. We all have them. Guess what? I do, too. And this week, I had a lot of those days.

On Monday, I was so sad that I just wanted to lay in bed all day and watch Food Network. But then I remembered that I had 17 beautiful faces waiting for me, and I smiled through the tears.

Every morning when I come into work I leave my worries at the door and put a smile on my face because I know that I have to be strong for each and every one of you. I know that you need me, and I'm always here for you. And you know what helps me smile? YOU. You turn my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days into The Hungry Caterpillar's Saturdays -- you know, the day where he gets to eat cupcakes and candy. You guys know how much I love cupcakes!

So when you have those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days, hop out of bed and find something to smile about. There is always something to smile about.

Remember the first week of school when we read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? We talked about how everyone carries around an imaginary bucket filled with good feelings. And when someone does something nice for you, it fills your bucket (and their bucket too).

We spent days brainstorming ways that we can fill buckets through acts of kindness. I was so proud of you for coming up with so many great examples. Did you know that you fill my bucket each and every day? And because of that my bucket is now overflowing. Thank you for filling my bucket. Especially this week. I really needed my bucket filled this week.

All this time, I thought I was teaching you, but what I've realized throughout this tough week is that you've been teaching me. You guys remind me how to be a good friend, how to dream big, how to enjoy the little moments in life and how to make the most of any situation.

You see, I've wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. And I've been practicing since I was four. Of course, back then my students were stuffed animals, dolls and if I was really lucky -- my little brother. (I promise -- you are way cooler than any stuffed animals or dolls). I was practicing so that when I met you, I'd be ready to teach you to the best of my ability.

In college, I learned even more about being a great teacher. But what my professors never taught me is that I'd get to experience the greatest gift of all: life lessons from you. Sure I'm your teacher but you teach me, too. I learn from you every single day. If I could make a list of all the lessons I've learned from you so far, I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Because of you, I have the greatest job in the world. Thank you.

You matter. You are loved. You are a gift to this world. You are a gift to me.

Thank you for making my days so much brighter. Thank you for being you. Never, ever forget how important you are to this world and to all your teachers along the way.

Love,

Ms. Wertheim