by Lexi Harrick
Writer, Marketing Co-op, and College Student.
Many of the articles that I read about teachers, are often written by teachers. I want to clarify that I am by no means an educator, nor am I a student pursuing a degree in education. I am student, and one that has had the incredible fortune of being provided with educators who deserve this letter of gratitude. I want to write this to all of the teachers who understand the grave importance of their occupation, and who do not take that responsibility lightly. This letter is for the teachers that have never known the true definition of an eight-hour work day. This letter is for the teachers that have also transformed into club leaders, sports coaches, directors, dedicated fans, event planners, role models, counselors, and loyal friends. This letter is for the teachers who touch lives with each passing day, and help to build the foundation for some of the world’s most astounding and incredible adults.
Teachers, I’m sure there are days that cause you to question if any of your work is making a difference to your seemingly unappreciative students. I want to assure you in this letter of your vast power of influence. I can remember things that teachers have said to me dating back to when I was six-years-old. I know I am not alone in that regard either. Every thing you say and do affects your students, and that makes your job one of the most important jobs in the world.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, where I learned to appreciate all teachers reading this letter. I met many teachers that would probably remind you of yourselves. There was the math teacher who would stay with me until 5:00 in the evening, trying to develop my persistently subpar mathematical abilities. There was the English teacher that first gave me a bad grade on a paper, and then challenged me to excel far beyond what I knew I was capable of. There was the art teacher whose laughter and brilliance had students working in her room over their lunches. There were the many coaches that constantly went above and beyond the call of duty. There was the enthusiastic history teacher who had most of the student body convinced she lived at the high school. We swore her mini-cooper never left the faculty parking lot. There was the Spanish teacher that called my mom because he was concerned that I was going through a tough time. There were the innovative teachers who tirelessly sought to integrate technology into the curriculum and who strongly influenced my own interests and skills in technology. There was the music teacher that captured the hearts of everyone she taught with her passion, fearlessness, sincerity, and true love for her students. I could write for days about every teacher I watched change the life of student. Teaching was never just a job for those people, it was a gift.
A teacher can become a parent to a kid who hardly has one of his or her own. A teacher can be a role model, a savior, and a friend. A teacher can compel a student to have a lifetime hunger for knowledge. A teacher can inspire values for compassion, philanthropy, hard-work, bravery, integrity, and commitment. A teacher can do and be anything, and often they are.
Thank you. Thank you to the teachers reading this that are feeling that warm restoration in their chests because they know they are making a difference in this world. Thank you for molding young minds. Thank you for overcoming the daily struggles of a complicated education system, and still dedicating yourselves to achieving as much as possible for your students. Thank you for patience. Thank you for the kindness you showed to us as little ones. Thank you for the guidance you gave us as we were learning to grow. Thank you for swallowing every negative generalization people may make about teachers, and knowing in your hearts that what you accomplish in school is worth it all and then some. Thank you for giving young adults like myself the confidence and courage to follow our dreams. Even on the difficult days, remember that you are never forgotten. Students who read this letter will think of you. They think of you all the time. We all will talk about the stories of teachers that we adored for decades. We will laugh, cry and appreciate.
We carry what you taught us in our minds, and also in our hearts, for the rest of our lives.
Your Forever Students.
This post is dedicated to the hardworking and gifted educators from the Hanover Public School District. Thank you for enabling me to follow my dreams, and may you continue to inspire greatness in all of your students.
Follow Lexi Herrick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lexi_herrick