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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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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