Thank you. Thank you to new teachers anxious every day before their students arrive, thank you to veteran teachers who have wisdom that isn’t always recognized, thank you to music teachers fighting to keep the arts in schools, thank you to classroom teachers everywhere who fight for our kids, for their jobs, and aren’t valued as they should be.
We see what you do and how you put your heart into it.
Instead of gathering materials for a craft or activity today I gathered like-minded bloggers who wanted to thank a teacher who made a difference in their life. I’d love for you to read each and every letter linked below mine. These letters aren’t just for the teachers named in them, they are lessons we can all learn about dedication and love.
I wrote this letter to my first-grade teacher Madame Obadia in 2002, days before I was set to start my bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I had not kept in touch but I knew her husband was a professor at a local university and I sent it to him to forward. Unfortunately, Madame Obadia had passed away four years earlier. He did send my letter to her children and they wrote me back expressing their own thanks. I hope this demonstrates how important gratitude is and that it’s never wasted.
Although you taught me in french and it has come in handy on my many travels throughout Europe, especially in Geneva when my passport was stolen, I will write this in English.
You were and still are my favorite teacher I have ever had, you taught me grade 1 at Hillcrest Elementary in the 1983-1984 school year. I hated school and was scared of going. As far as I remember my mother Vonna was at her wits end on how to get me to go to school because I flat out refused to go. It was your plan to reward me every day with a stamp which I could collect or trade in for prizes. You made me love school, despite whatever anxiety I had about going.
I continued with french immersion through to high school , graduated from the University of Calgary in 2000 with a degree in history and in a few days I am heading off to Thunder Bay to start my B.Ed program in elementary education.
I am sure that you have had thousands of students and are hard pressed to remember one from 20 years ago, but more importantly I remember you and you left a lasting and positive impression on me. Whether it was the letters to Santa that came back to us…I think in your son’s handwriting, or that I can still draw a swan that he showed the class how to draw, or that it was the little caterpillar bookmark I traded my stamps in to get…something you did made me love school so much I want to teach.
Now 13 years after that first letter was written I think of all the things I didn’t mention. Like the time Madame Obadia asked me to befriend Miles a boy in my class that needed a friend and how she just laughed while my new puppy ran around the room peeing when I brought her for show and tell. She cared for us as a mother does, knowing when to push, having high expectations, and meeting each child right where we were.
In a few months, I will start a new chapter in my own education, graduate studies in early childhood and family development at Missouri State University, and without Madam Obadia I would never have made it this far. What she did was so much more than bribery, she made me feel safe even though I felt scared. She rewarded me for facing my fears. I keep the bookmark I earned so many years ago in Madame Obadia’s classroom to remind myself that I can do hard things.
Check out more than a dozen other heartfelt letters of thanks to teachers who made a difference. Better yet write one of your own and share it with me or try to track that teacher down and send it to them!
Thank You, Miss Swett by Carrots Are Orange
Thank You, Mr.Blanchard by Not Just Cute
Thank You Mrs.Goetz by Thriving Stem
Thank You, Mrs.Ulrich by JDaniel 4’s Mom
Thank You, Ms.Austin by MultitaskingMaven
Thank You, Mr.Spencer by Education To The Core
Thank You, Mrs.Anderson by Mac-N-Taters
Thank You, Mrs.O’Neill by Encourage Play
Thank You, Mrs.Fox by Simply Kinder
Thank You, Third Grade Team by The Educators Spin On It
Thank You, Mrs.Johnson by Mrs.Jones Creation Station
Thank You, Mrs. Ratto by Sparkling Buds
Thank You, Mrs.Powell by elemenopkids
Thank You, Mr. Brant by Bare Feet On The Dashboard
Thank You, Ms.Barry by Inspiration Laboratories
Thank You, Mr.Rouland by Clever Classroom
The best way to appreciate a teacher this Teacher Appreciation Week is to just say thank you. Go one grab a pencil and write a teacher who made a difference in you life or in the lives of one of your children and say thanks.