I have to share a letter from a student a met nine years ago. I would say “former student” but she was not. And, as fate would have it, I received this letter on a day where nothing seemed to go right! As I am an Instructional Coach I don’t get letters like this. It really touched my heart.
Here is her letter to me:
My name is ______and I went to ________Elementary about 9 years ago. I was in the 3rd grade during the 2007-2008 school year, and there is no way you remember me because I wasn’t in your class, but I wanted to take a second to thank you for the impact you made in my life.
I am now a senior at ______High School, and before I graduate I wanted to tell all the teachers that have made a difference in my life that I appreciate them, so I hope it’s okay that I found your email on the website to thank you.
The only reason I really met you was because I was the “clipboard monitor” who walked around to all the teachers with a clipboard so you could write down who had time-out at recess. I remember that you smiled at me everyday when I walked into your class! I looked forward to seeing you! I remember one time you asked me jokingly if I wanted to be in your class because I was responsible and you said I was nice, and even though that was so stupid and didn’t seem like a big deal, it made me feel loved and appreciated when I didn’t really look forward to coming to school at the time.
But the thing that you did that made me want to email you was on the last day of school: I didn’t have many friends in the third grade because I was extremely quiet and I was about to move away anyway so I didn’t really care, plus I wasn’t that social at the time. I was sitting alone on the bench watching the other kids play at recess on the day before summer, and you came across the playground to come sit with me and talk to me! You told me a story about how when you were in elementary school, you moved to a new school halfway through the year and everyone already had their friend group so you felt left out sometimes too. That made me feel better and like I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have close friends.
I know all this sounds kinda sad, but things definitely changed after I moved to a new school for 4th grade! I became way more outgoing & I took your advice and just enjoyed time as it came! Even today, I think about you coming to talk to me and what you said sometimes, like on the first days of school if I don’t know anyone in my classes. I always remember that if I don’t make friends right away, it will happen with time! And that was always true! Within a few days every year I found people that became close friends in the classes where I knew no one!
So I just wanted to thank you for making a difference in my life! Very few teachers now a day go out of their way like you did to make a student’s day, and I wish people appreciated teachers like you more often! Thank you for making a difference!