Everyone has a teacher, coach, or instructor they look up to. Everything they say to you means something, especially when they're critiquing your work. Even if it's not a big deal to them, it's a big deal to you and you'll remember what they said for years.
Teachers, you never know who looks up to you. Most of my teachers didn't know how much they inspired me. Some of them don't even remember who I am, but what really matters is the reason why I remember them.
To the history teacher who made me love history again, I'll never forget the day you told me I would change the world. Thank you for believing in me and challenging me to do my best.
To my 6th-grade science teacher, thank you for showing me that the possibilities are endless and the future is bright.
To my first college professor, your opinion really matters to me. You're the first real writer I've ever been critiqued by and I take in everything you say like a sponge. I'll never forget my first college essay. You gave me a 94 on it and told me there wasn't much to dock points off for because it was so well written. You said you liked my writing style. Thanks to you, I have confidence in my writing again.
To the coach that I thought hated me, thank you for sticking up for me. Thank you for checking up on me and showing that you cared about me.
To the teacher that understood my pain, thank you for pulling me out during the movie. I still have that note you wrote me. I wore that sticky-note on my shirt for the rest of the day.
To the instructor who saw the leader in me, thank you for giving me the opportunity you did. You took a chance with me and I will be forever thankful you did. You told me to be confident in myself. You complimented my form and tosses. We may joke and say to remember every compliment you give because they're a rarity, but they truly mean a lot. Thank you for noticing my efforts to get better.
I wrote this to specific teachers that I have had, but this is also an open letter to teachers and aspiring teachers. Your students will remember even if you don't. Be careful what you say to them. Critique with cautious words and tone. Praise as often as you can.