I really enjoyed having you in class this year. That may come as a surprise to you, for which I apologize. You taught me a lot this year, but not about what was in the American History syllabus.
Some days watching you face the challenges of middle school nearly broke my heart. Truth be told, there's probably never been a kid who sailed through middle school without getting frustrated or hurt, or both.
I learned that tolerating the behaviors of others didn't necessarily mean you accepted them. I began to wonder if tolerance was a survival strategy for you.
As you sought ways to cope with the daily aggravations of middle school, you also taught me the difference between discriminating and distinguishing. At first, I thought you were ignoring, or discriminating against, certain classmates being part of conversations and interactions.
Brandon, I think most teachers have a goal of empowering their students to grow academically. That may be a worthy endeavor, most of the time.
After sharing a classroom with you this year, I will always be grateful for what I've learned from you. Of course, I still hope you are a better student, what teacher wouldn't? But, I also hope, because of you, Brandon, I am a better teacher.