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Writer, a retired teacher, thanks his students and parents at Forest Grove High School.

Retired teacher: 'Most students did their best'

After 30-plus years teaching English classes at Forest Grove High School, I have retired and it's a great time to thank all the parents who sent me their students faithfully through these years.

I have greatly enjoyed the friendship of students and the support from parents who often took the time to email, call or visit me in the classroom.

Has much changed in the English classroom during these 30-plus years? Mostly not. Writers like John Steinbeck still offer students insight into the world of the underside of the American Dream, and student writers still work hard to craft careful academic essays, with clear thinking and precise wording. Cell phones have added a new distraction in the classroom, but most students understand the need to be focused on academics while in class.

I have tried to challenge all students to develop writing, reading, speaking and thinking skills that will serve them in the next stages of their lives. Not every student has wanted to be in high school, but through cooperation and some gentle prodding, most students did their best to improve their skills, earn their credits and get on with their lives.

Being a teacher at FGHS has been a big responsibility: students come every day with personal and family issues, as well as some serious health issues. My job has been to engage students in a way that transcends these personal weights. I've enjoyed getting to help students learn about what the world will expect of them.

Thanks again to all the parents/guardians for trusting your precious young people to me. I hope to still be an occasional part of the FGHS community in the future, but I will now take more time to be with my own two children and will explore how I can volunteer services to my community in Yamhill.

Steve Harloff

Yamhill

Contract Publishing

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