This feature is based off a speech given by Anthony Bryan at the Bachelor of Education Graduate’s Dinner.

Anthony Bryan, BA ’17, BEd ’18, told himself he wouldn’t cry at the end of his first teaching placement.

Bryan, of Trinidad and Tobago, struggles with goodbyes and after reciting a heartfelt speech to his class on his last day at Bliss Carman Middle School, he thought he made it through.

But, around three o’clock a young student walked up to him and gave him a note. It read, "Dear Mr. Bryan, I’m so sad that you’re leaving today. I’ll miss having you teach my class because you make it fun. Whatever job you do you will do well because you’re super nice and have an amazing personality. You’re the best intern I’ve ever had and ever will have. Don’t forget our class because I won’t forget you."

“I was never the best part of somebody’s day before,” Bryan said. “This program allowed that to happen.”

Now, with the completion of his time in the School of Education, Bryan is faced with another goodbye—to his teachers, his peers, and St. Thomas University.
Although many lessons were learned—and taught—his biggest take away from the experience was the impact a teacher can have on their students.

“It’s kind of wild what people are capable of doing when they know you’re in their corner and that you’re rooting for them,” Bryan said.

“They just need somebody to be passionate with them and to tell them that it’s cool to be passionate about things. My students were important to me and it was my job to tell them that—it was my job to make them believe it without question.”

That feeling Bryan strove to instill in his students during his two placements is one he experienced first-hand from his professors and peers in the School of Education.

“Everyone is behind you every step of the way. I hope we don’t lose the feeling that at every moment and every angle each and every one of us wanted the best for each other,” he said.

“You are the teachers I would have wanted as a student and all of you are the teachers I want to be.”

Bryan will be staying in Fredericton to begin his teaching career and participate in the local theatre scene.