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A Farewell Message From the Desk of Andy Luft

Gratitude Expressed And Words of Wisdom Shared
Courtesy Photo
A message of best wishes taped to the door of Mr. Luft’s old room.

A few weeks ago, writer Anna Utterback asked Social Students teacher Mr. Luft if there was anything he would like to say to students and the staff before he retired. This was his response:

To all of my students

After 28 years of teaching, it is time to retire my book of Zinn and see what the future holds for me. When I first started teaching, I really didn’t know what I was in for but I consider it one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life because of the students that I’ve had. YOU are the reason I teach. 

Over the years, I’ve seen so many of you come into my AP classes as scared sophomores and leave as graduates as confident students ready to take on the world which has been such a joy. I hope you learned that hard work can be rewarding while still being able to laugh along the way. I hope the deep lessons about the worthlessness of throw pillows or the waste of time of using shampoo and conditioner rather than a 2 in 1 bottle, and the endless movies I can’t believe you’ve never seen will stay with you for years to come. You have no idea how meaningful your cards and letters have meant to me and the countless greetings in the hallways always brighten my days. 

To my History nerds, never feel like you are one (save that for other departments). You are just critical thinkers that wonder about the world around you. NEVER give up that idea. I hope that I’ve instilled in you the importance of multiple perspectives because we have to as a society bring that way of thinking back, and it can start with you. You are the ray of light in the sunshine of my day. (who wrote this? I’m sounding like an English teacher.) All kidding aside, you truly have made teaching a pure joy and I want to leave you with a piece of advice. PUT THE DARN PHONES AWAY!!! Remember, social media is just a tool; it shouldn’t consume you. Enjoy the moment, smell the flowers and have a conversation with one another. You might find you’ve been missing the wonders of life.

To the staff

I would just like to thank you all for the wonderful support you’ve given me at E. O. Smith over the years. YOU are what makes this school so great. Your dedication to your craft and more importantly to your students have made teaching here so enjoyable. 

I would like to thank specifically my Social Studies department comrades past and present for lesson ideas, intellectual conversations, lunch times, and just plain caring about how I was doing throughout the years. None of it went unnoticed. To my fellow Yankees fans, thanks for the chats and let’s hope number 28 gets here soon. To my golf buddies, Mike Koerner, Kevin Erickson and John Konow, I hope for continued years on the links together. Finally, I would especially like to thank John Konow for being my best friend and being a brother to me. We’ve done so much throughout the years and I will miss our lunch time together. I can’t wait for you to join me in retirement. 

For you new teachers, I know you are skilled with all the new bells and whistles and technology but sit back and chat with a veteran once in a while and take in what they have to say. They still have so much to offer. I would finally like to pass the baton of being a thorn in the side to a worthy veteran. Every school needs one to remind people that there will always be something new coming down the pike, which often is a rehash of something of the past. 

Remember to take your time to think it through, and always make sure it’s good for students. Remember teaching becomes an art by making the material you teach relatable to your students. Good teachers have mastered this in different ways, and those differences should be valued. If there’s one thing that I can impart upon you is that teaching is a valuable commodity more so than anytime in history because you get to form bonding relationships with the future of our country.

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