To All The Teachers Who Were So Much More

To All The Teachers Who Were So Much More

Thank you.

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Dear Teacher,

I would like to thank you for believing in me. For seeing something in me from the very beginning. For not giving up on me when I didn't quite understand what seemed to click right away for almost everyone else. I know there were times when I didn't try as hard as I should have, and times where I was really struggling and on the verge of giving up. You saw my potential and helped me get through it. You believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself.

When I felt lost, you answered my questions and made sure I understood what was happening, even if it meant having to come in earlier or stay later than you usually would. I am so grateful for how much you cared about seeing me succeed.

I know that your job is not the easiest, and at times, it's probably pretty exhausting. You have all these lesson plans, assignments and tests to create, along with having to grade everything. And when parents see that their children didn't do well, they get upset and blame you for the study habits and failing grades of their kids. I applaud you for keeping your cool and always being kind and respectful, even in situations like those.

There may be some days where you don't feel like you are doing a good job, or that you aren't reaching your students completely. I understand that. It's a lot of pressure. However, I would like to assure you that you are doing a fantastic job. Keep doing what you're doing.

I dreaded going to most of my classes, but I was excited to go to yours, even if I didn't enjoy being around my classmates. I knew that going to your class would make me smile, not want to crawl into a hole and hide or scream at the top of my lungs.

You taught me so much more than just what I needed to know to just scrape by. You taught me important lessons, like that it takes hard work, perseverance, and a good sense of humor to make it through this life. I've also learned that you don't always need to have all of the answers to be successful.

College is hard. You warned me that it would be. You also told me that it will be a time of self-discovery and adventure, and you were so right. Thank you for not making me fear the future, but making me excited about it.

Thank you for believing in me when it seemed like things were falling apart. Thank you for being a friend and a mentor. Thank you for being the best at what you do. Thank you for being an inspiration. You have made a huge impact on more lives than you could ever realize and I could not be more grateful to have the opportunity to be one of them. I aspire to be like you one day.

With love,

A student who didn't say thank you enough

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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