Thank you to A Teacher

Dear Amazing Teacher, 

When you look into the face of a child or teenager, you see past the current moment. Whether they are currently in preschool, elementary school, or even high school, your gaze extends into the future and all the possibilities contained therein. Thank you for looking beyond the current moment and glimpsing the vast potential each child has. Thank you for helping to raise the next generation of policymakers, scientists, artists, mechanics, engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc. 

Thank you for getting to know each child and how they process, how they learn, and what motivates them.  Thank you for helping them discover what they can accomplish with their own hard work, patience, and diligence.  Thank you for noticing those that are having a difficult time and helping them along with patience and a sincere desire to see them succeed. 

I notice your many sacrifices as great teachers. You sacrifice your time, including many evenings and early mornings. You sacrifice personal finances to deliver needed items to enhance your classroom learning experience. You work tirelessly to tailor lessons to individual needs.  

At the end of the school year, my elementary children always wanted to give a gift to their teacher. These gifts have taken many forms from fresh cut lilacs delivered with a handmade thank you card to collaborating with other students to get a restaurant or spa gift card.  What has most impressed me about good teachers is no matter the size of the gift nor its collaboration, my children received a cherished handwritten thank you note by the end of the day.  Thank you for teaching my children how to graciously receive. 

In the day to day grind of teaching young people, you may wonder if you are even making a dent in their lives, in their futures.  There may be times you think they don’t hear you at all.  Let me assure you, they do hear you.  My children regardless if they are elementary, middle, or high school age will often tell me how to do something because that child’s teacher showed them the right way to do it. 

Thank you for allowing me to volunteer in your classrooms. I have learned a lot from observing you and following your instructions.   As a mother of six, you helped me understand how to focus on an individual child while keeping the rest of the kids busy.   

While volunteering for first-grade teachers, the phonics light bulb went off in my brain.  Phonics finally started to make sense and that allowed me to more efficiently help my own kids learn to read.  Thank you for teaching me while I volunteered in your classroom. 

Thank you for willingly contacting parents to connect and understand what is best going to help a child develop and succeed in their next wave of learning. Even though my daughter was in the middle of her junior year of high school, your determination to push for a diagnosis made all the difference for her future.  She succeeded in obtaining a bachelor’s degree while living away from home and has become an independent, productive member of our society.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Your dedication to robotics, drama, debate, instrumental music, vocal music, sports teams, etc. has helped children find a niche they belong in.  Because of you, they feel part of a team that works together to build something worthwhile and beautiful.  Thank you for going the extra mile to round out their education with your dedicated time to extracurricular activities. 

Along with saying thank you to all the various teachers my children have had, I am exceedingly grateful for the inspiring teachers I’ve had, too. They helped shape who I am today.  From my early elementary teacher inspiring me to read to my later elementary math, reading, and science teachers, to my middle school gym teacher and coach, to my high school algebra I, calculus, and AP Lit teachers who patiently put up with my clowning around, thank you! 

I will never forget Mr. Jenkins, my sixth-grade reading teacher who noticed my nose always in a book.  One day he handed me, “The Hiding Place,” by Corrie ten Boom, insisting my brain needed better fuel than westerns and fantasy. I balked. No one else in the class had to read it.  

Before I knew it, I was engrossed in hiding Jews and suffering internment camps.  Thank you, to every teacher, who notices a child not challenged with regular school work and pushes them to new heights. 

Thank you for loving and supporting children to become their best future selves!  Your service to a child deeply impacts each following generation. 

With deepest respect, 

A Grateful Parent and Former Student 

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