To the greatest teacher, I’ve ever had,
It seems almost impossible to me that it was a little over four years ago that I stepped foot into your classroom for the first time -- an apprehensive freshman, terrified of what was to come in high school.
I was lucky enough to have you as my homeroom teacher all four of those high school years. Walking into your classroom on my first day helped put some of my worries at ease. There wasn’t a bare space on the walls. I looked around and saw magazine clippings of animals, cicada shells, bookshelves lining the whole room, and that wasn’t even the half of it. Your classroom didn’t feel like a traditional classroom -- it felt comfortable, it felt welcoming. And before me stood the woman who, unbeknownst to me at the time, would become someone I looked up to for years to come.
Before high school, I didn’t enjoy taking English classes. I hated writing -- it frustrated me to no end. That was until I had your class, first hour, Early World Humanities. It amazed me how someone could make something as boring as studying for a vocab quiz so fun. Before I knew it, I began looking forward to coming to school, something I had never experienced before. And around this time, my love for writing began to grow. The next two years I continued to have you as my homeroom teacher but, unfortunately, didn’t have any of your classes.
Fast forward to senior year. I was ecstatic knowing I got to have you as a teacher again for AP Lit. I remember not wanting to participate in senior skip days because it meant missing your class. Around this time was really when my writing prospered -- this is when I realized how much I loved to write. I’m extremely thankful that you always encouraged us to submit our writing to contests, and your genuine enthusiasm when we would tell you we were published or placed in a contest meant so much to not just me, but everyone who had the privilege of having you as a teacher.
I guess after this trip down memory lane what I really want to say is, thank you. Thank you for everything you did for us throughout your career. Thank you for making class fun and not just teaching by the book. Thank you for your creativity, thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your positivity, thank you for being you. You were more than just a teacher to us; you were a role model, someone we all aspired to be.
If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be writing this article. The last time I saw you I came to your classroom after graduation to come get a book that one of my poems had placed in (again, thank you for encouraging me to submit it). I remember telling you my plans for college and trying my hardest not to cry knowing I had to say goodbye to the woman who welcomed me my first day of high school with a smile on her face and made me feel welcome. Even though my major has nothing to do with writing, you told me to keep at it. And if it wasn’t for your encouragement, I wouldn’t have applied to write for Odyssey -- you wouldn’t be reading this article right now. I would have never continued to pursue my love for writing if it wasn’t for you, and for that I can’t thank you enough.
I don’t miss a lot about high school, but I will forever miss having you as a teacher. I’ll miss the scary stories the class would tell on Halloween. I’ll miss the wall of questions that would consume the hallway to the lunchroom every spring. I’ll miss all the hilarious YouTube videos you used to show us in homeroom to pass the time (especially the goats and sheep song). I’ll miss reptile day. Most of all, I’ll miss you.
Thank you for being more than a teacher to all of us throughout high school, you changed the lives of more students than you know.
A Student Whose Life You Changed