I was scared to death to fail, but I was even more scared not to try. So much you would never know was on the line: my self-esteem, my confidence in latent abilities I was afraid I'd lost forever (or at least for a while), my earning potential, my husband's view of me. In my mind, all were riding on how well I did as a teacher.
How well would I teach you how to write about literature? Could I teach a classroom of military professionals and self-professed nonfiction readers how to appreciate poetry, short stories, and Shakespearean tragedy? I may not have succeeded with every one of you - a couple of you were really tough nuts - but I think I won over a few others of you - the ones who laughed at my jokes, who teased me a little bit, who liked that I cared.
Thank you for sticking with me, for showing me that yes, I've still got it - the teaching part of me I gave up five years ago to follow my husband and where I was not able to find a teaching position. Where I thought I lost the teacher-me, traded in on the coach-me. Thank you for letting me make mistakes (way too many for my own standards), and for giving me a little grace as the new-to-Alaska girl. Thanks for the tips and the advice, for laughing with me about the butchered moose, and for being concerned about my hearing.
I hope I gave you the useful tools, and I pray you are able to complete your next classes well and successfully.