“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls. As well as a quantitative change in our lives.” -Martin Luther King Jr. 

It is Saturday morning. Heather and I are sitting at the dining room table in a small airbnb in downtown Bozeman wrapping up the important odds and ends of the semester that officially “closed” yesterday. We are feeling the absence of the morning bustle we are so accustomed to now. Waking up this morning I anticipated hearing the dim shuffle of the breakfast crew waking up, the sound of a pot hitting the stove for our morning teas and coffees. We are both sensing the oddity in this sort of quiet – a quiet that lacks Bobo’s morning laugh, Margot’s good morning in an Australian accent, someone asking “where’s Flora?”, the smell of Bec’s cinnamon and sugar apples, sleepy eyes, and early morning grins.  

As we take deep breaths to fill this quiet and as we pursue our own processing and closing, we are sitting with immense gratitude. For me, it is teary and warm, bubbling about deep within my core. It comes from a place where time and space, hardship and resilience, trust and adventure swirl together in memory – like swimming in river waters, non-stop laughter for hours, sunshine beating down. I could continue to use silly metaphors and unnecessary adjectives to try to describe all the varying and powerful feelings that we as an instructor team are holding for you all RIGHT NOW, or, we could just say thank you. 

Thank you to our sweet cherubs, studes, studs, kiddlings, kiddos, young adults, learners, observers, community members, leaders, critical thinkers and powerful change makers. Thank you. Thank you for your openness to sitting in discomfort, for your criticality, patience, vulnerability, authenticity, passion, compassion, care, advocacy, presence, laughter and for all the love and bravery you brought to our group. Thank you for making our jobs feel like Purpose and for sharing the unique you with us which made our group OUR GROUP. #TTS37isheaven. Thank you for being all that you were at the beginning of the program, all that you are now, and and for every moment of you in between. 

Thank you to the guardians, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, teachers, and mentors that made this semester happen for your young human. Thank you for the time, energy, worry, effort, love, and care that you poured into them to make this semester happen. Thank you for your trust, your patience, your kind words, and your steady support. This semester was made possible by you! Thank you. 

Our gratitude continues as we have such a list of administrative staff, community members, donors, and mentors of our own that we hold gratitude for today that in so many various ways contributed to the creation of this semester as it was. Importantly, thank you J4, Aunge, Kaitlin, Hailey, Maddie, Drew, and Trace for all you did for us and the program behind the scenes. Thank you! 

Together, we transcended beyond being just a school, just a group of travelers, and even beyond being critical thinkers and learners. We created a beloved community, a term utilized by MLK in reference to the change-making activists of the civil rights movement. Thank you to all for contributing to this change in our souls and lives. We both hope and trust you will continue pursuing a community like this, pursuing adventure, pursuing knowledge. Like Heather said last night, this kind of magic is rare and possible. Thank you all. 

Our love to you,

Meredith and the Teacher Team