To that elementary school teacher,

I have not seen you in many years and after this year I may never see you again. I have graduated. You were my favorite teacher back in elementary school. You helped me tie my shoes, you taught me all of the state capitals, and you taught me what it meant to be a good person. You cared for my peers and I equally and you expressed your genuine nature. Thank you. At the time I was 10 years old and thought I had time, but then I blinked. At the time, I found it hard to leave my elementary school; however, now I am preparing to leave this town all together.

Eight years ago, I stood in your classroom ready to learn. I walked in almost every morning with a smile plastered to my face, ready to be greeted by friends that I thought would last a lifetime. We would unpack our backpacks into our cubbies and then we would begin our day. Each lesson was interactive and fun. A day did not go by that I was not happy to be in your class. I left each day with a bigger smile than I had upon entering. You proved to each student that you would do anything to help them succeed. When my anxiety paralyzed me, you were there. You understood and helped me get through each day. When I felt challenged or overwhelmed, you helped me with the work. I always knew you were there.

When our final days at our elementary school rolled around, we went to visit our old teachers with a letter to our favorite. My letter was to you. Elementary school was a long time ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember saying goodbye to both you and the school that day. I realized that I had grown up quite a bit between the time I had you and then. I felt like an adult in comparison. At that point in my life, I dreamed of becoming a teacher.

Well, now I am actually an adult and I am really leaving. I will be leaving this town in just two short months and heading off to college. A lot has changed since I said goodbye to you in eighth grade. My friend group has altered drastically. Sadly, I do not want to be a teacher. I came to understand that I could take the skills you taught me and apply them to whatever I wanted. I discovered a sense of confidence that I will carry forever.

Last week, my high school brought us all back to our elementary schools for our last time. This time was different. We were in our caps and gowns, the new elementary school students stood in the halls clapping and our teachers stood there in shock. We made our way around the building. Many of my other teachers from that school have retired or passed away; however, I knew you were still there and I made it my mission to find you. Your past students were lining up to hug you and you were shocked by the fact that we were now adults. We made it with the help of your guidance. None of us can thank you enough, but we know we will make you proud.

Love,

Your former student