English teacher Charlie Gaare bids CMR farewell

Charlie Gaare, Guest Writer

To the students and staff at CMR:
I write this letter to say thank you to the most important people in my life outside of my family. For those students I was fortunate enough to teach, you have consistently been the best part of my life. The blessing of teaching at this high school for seven years has been an honor and a privilege, and it is with a heavy heart that I leave to pursue a different opportunity.
Jan. 21 will be my last day teaching in Great Falls, and every day I am gone I will miss it. I will miss saying hi to all of my students in the hallway and stalking them when they won’t. I will miss kids who can’t stay out of my costume box and kids who get English jokes. I will miss the kind of school that chooses the very best of the best as Homecoming royalty.  I will miss DECA store runs and golf/breakfast club.  I will miss the power of poetry in my club and classroom.  I will miss watching the talent of the drum line and dance team. I will miss how perfect teenagers are in their wonderful imperfection. I will miss the friendships I have made among both students and staff. I will miss this place immeasurably.
My previous students are aware of my love for The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.  For me, it is not just a piece of literature but also a guiding principle in how I live my life.  In the spirit of being a little cheesy the omens have been mounting lately, and I need to follow my personal legend. My unhappiness living in Great Falls grows each year I live here, and I can no longer deny this discontent. For a long time, my fear prevented me from doing what I knew my heart wanted. I tried to feed my love of adventure through my love for travel, but this proves not to be enough. What I need is a new place with new opportunities. I am moving to Colorado where I intend to continue teaching and to pursue writing, performing, and publishing my poetry. I am very, very excited by this chance.
I have never loved another thing as much as I have loved my students and my job, which is why I refuse to say goodbye. To quote Mary TallMountain, “We never leave each other.  When does your mouth say goodbye to your heart?” I hope I will see each of you before I go, so please stop in to see me. If not, we’ll meet again.
With much love, Miss Gaare