As a 20-year-old college student, it's fair to say that I've had my share of my schooling over the years. During the last several years of being a student, the older I get, the more appreciative I become of the teachers who made an impact on my life.
Whether it was by allowing me to come into their classroom for a breath of fresh air whenever I was having a bad day, a word of encouragement whenever I was struggling in school or personally, or the way they constantly showed their belief in me, those special men and women who took the extra time to show they care will always have a special place in my heart. For those certain teachers who cared more about your students rather than a paycheck, thank you.
Thank you for doing a job that isn't always easy.
There are many careers in this world where you leave your job at your workplace. I know that teaching isn't one of them. You hear the different stereotypes of teachers and how people think you have it easy, but I know that's not always the case.
I know that whenever you come home, you think about your student coming into school wearing the same clothes three days in a row. I know that you're thinking of the student that is struggling with his or her work because no one pays attention at home. I know that you're thinking of the students that get a little antsy and excited at lunchtime because that's his or her only meal for the day. I know you lose sleep at night wishing you could take every hurting student home and give them a life full of so much love and care that they so desperately need and deserve.
Thank you for doing the hard things.
Thank you for giving me your extra time whenever I'm frustrated.
As a student, I know for a fact that there will be times when we all struggle. They will be struggling with your class assignments. They will be struggling because they don't understand certain concepts or materials.
There will also be other times when they are struggling a little harder. They will be struggling because there are things happening at home that no one is aware of, causing them to be a little distracted. They will be struggling simply because I'm having a bad day and feel that they can't catch a break.
When you notice your students are struggling and you choose to give extra time, I want you to know that you make a difference. Whenever I was struggling on an assignment and starting to doubt myself, the belief you showed made a difference. You took the time whenever I was frustrated to help me understand and even if I didn't quite get it, you made me believe that if I tried hard enough, eventually I could. Whenever you took the time to offer an encouraging word, you made the difference in how my day was going.
Thank you for caring a little extra.
Thank you for your constant guidance.
Whether it was academically, personally or even spiritually, having you as a person to offer advice and pep talks whenever I need them made a tremendous impact on my life during my time as your student. Knowing that I could easily come to you whenever I needed help with an assignment was great, but knowing I could come to you for guidance made me feel cared about not just as a student, but a person that you wanted the best for.
Whenever you would offer your input on life situations or especially my future plans, I always took your words to heart knowing you wanted to see me succeed. You taught me lessons beyond the standards for classroom and those are the lessons I'll remember the most.
There are so many lessons that I learned from my teachers and there are so many things I could thank you for. Words feel so inadequate for all of the ways that you've truly impacted my life and heart. If I could go back, I would work ten times harder to show you my appreciation for the wonderful job you are doing.
Thank you for believing in who I was whenever I didn't see anything great in me. Thank you for caring enough for me to check on me during difficult times and keeping up with my life after leaving your classroom. Thank you for still being just a message, phone call and visit away whenever a former student needs you.
Most importantly, thank you for still teaching me, even when you are no longer my teacher.