Dear teachers who changed my life,

I know not nearly enough people have told you this, but Thank you. You always did so much for us and we always over looked it. You offered us so much and expected nothing back. Each one of your students should strive to be like you, yet we neglected your greatness and mistook it for simplicity. You humbled yourself before us and some walked right over you. They took the respect and goodness that you offered and they never looked back. Even after the hell your students put you through, you still smile and give more out every day. You would put yourself on the back burner if it meant a better world for your students. You taught us the lessons that the State required and lessons that no one could plan.

Some lessons are not told out loud or from a book. Some are whispers in the actions that we observe when you think we are not looking. The lessons that stick with us for life are the ones you teach unknowingly. While Pythagoras' theorem and how to conjugate verbs may be nice, respect and character are better. Some things that you teach the students could never be taught in a class as you get your degree. These lessons are unable to be taught if they are forced. They are best learned the hard way, by living it out by ourselves.

You have taught me how to get back up. I have seen you get knocked down time and time again. Somehow, though, you always get back up. You dust yourself off and continue on. Even if you are falling apart on the inside, you hold it together with a smile. You make sure we are always happy before you focus on your own happiness. But, we are not ignorant. We see the pain that you go through. We see the hurt and tears in your eyes. You may think that you look all fine and dandy, but we see right through your painted on smile. Yet, we do not think less of you. If anything, we think more for you are doing everything in your power to make sure we are okay, even when you are not. We just want to tell you to take a break sometimes. While we appreciate what you are doing for us, we wish that you would make sure that you take of yourself first. We want you to be your best because it brings out our best.

You taught me that it is okay to not be okay. We all face hard times and sometimes, those times lead to tears. Yet, you never pity us or think less of us because of those tears. You simple help us piece ourselves back together. You never rush us to be okay again. You just guide us down that path, patient and always there. As we stumble down this hard road, back to feeling like everything will be alright, we can look up and know that you will be at the end with a hug and comforting words. We also know that you will be back at the beginning too, if we get stuck, with encouraging words and warm gestures. We can trust that you are where ever we need you to be without complaint.

You taught me to who I needed to be. You inspire us with every little thing you do. You show us who we need to be and what qualities we need to leave behind after we graduate. You advise us in our decisions for the future and consult us on our past. You never force us to be one thing or another. You always ask what we want to be. While, you may never say it in words, you also tell us who we need to be. It was through you that I realize that as we grow up, we need to strive to be who we need when we were younger. You showed us what they next generation would need. You gave us the tools and ability to pass on the wonderful lessons that you taught us.

You gave us everything.

It has been said that we never notice what we had until it is gone, and it is true. We missed out on the chance to tell you how great and wonderful you were, how much we appreciated every minor detail, how much we learned from you, and how much we will miss you. We lived day by day without thinking of the future and now we regret that for only one reason. That reason is that since we never said it, you may think that we forgot about the stuff that you taught us, that we forgot about your sacrifices, that we forgot about you. We fear that you will think that you meant nothing to us. We fear that you will never know how much you helped us. Therefore, I would like to take the chance to say, if you ever think that we forgot you or what you did or that you never helped us, then you were wrong. There are not enough words in the English language for me to describe everything that you have gave me.

We could never forget you.

We could never repay you.

We could never be as great as you.

We can only say,

"Thank you!"