Dear Mr. Teacher,
Your class was without a doubt my least favorite class to go to in high school. For three years in a row, I absolutely dreaded walking into your classroom, wondering what comment you would make that day that would make me question why I did not stay home. It is kind of funny that there was an obvious pattern that I somehow would always feel sicker on the mornings I had your class, causing me to need to stay home. Yes, I had little desire to sit in a room of criticism and favoritism. Shocker, right? That environment sounds like a classroom from hell. However, this classroom, and your teaching, were the some of the most impactful factors in my high school education. This "education" consisted of much more than reading and writing, and for that, I want to thank you for the lessons you have taught me.
You taught me to be analytical. This lesson has been the most impactful. In the classroom, we were taught to analyze texts to determine what the author was trying to express to the readers or analyze the rhetorical device to figure out what it represented. Those skills are very necessary for an English class; however, they are even more necessary in the real world. Constantly, I find myself considering why someone did what they did or questioning the reason behind a certain event. This analytical outlook on life has shown me that there really is so much more than what is seen on the surface level. You once said: "A smart person can learn from their mistakes, but a truly intelligent person will also learn from other people's mistakes," and this piece of wisdom has guided me greatly.
You taught me that I did not know everything. This lesson was not an easy one for me to learn. I took much of your criticism to heart. Telling us we didn't know how to write, yelling that we didn't know what a sentence was, reminding us that you expect better. However, one day I stopped being angry that you were being mean and acknowledged you were right. That humbling change in perspective was what I needed to start improving who I was as a student.
You taught me to earn something. You definitely were not the teacher handing out A's, and although my GPA would have appreciated otherwise, I am grateful that I actually had to earn whatever grade I got in your class. You taught us to view our assignments as a practice for "game day," and because of that, I learned I need to work hard if I want good results.
You taught me to see the good in people. Many days I did not like you one bit. Other days, I would rationally understand the "tough-love" and high expectations as your way of trying to bring out the skill you saw in us. You mentioned before that your students hate you while they have you, but then realize their appreciation for you after they graduate. I knew this was true and although I didn't like you, what you had to say was beneficial academically. Despite all the anger and annoyance I had towards you, I always tried to understand where you were coming from. Maybe you acted like a jerk because you were frustrated that we weren't fulfilling the goals you knew we could, or maybe you were having a bad day. Now, I try to understand what is going on beneath the outside actions.
You taught me to write. I mean, that was kind of your job, so I guess I must compliment you that you did it well. I appreciate that you pushed me to better myself because writing is a very necessary skill that I need beyond high school.
So, yeah, I didn't like you all the time, but I sincerely appreciate everything you have done to turn me into the person I am today.
Not Your Favorite Student and That's Okay