First of all, no amount of "thank you's" could ever truly express my gratitude for you. But, where do I begin to thank the people who went above and beyond for me, and continue to do so for others every day? I guess I should start by thanking you for teaching in Oklahoma, because we both know the education system isn't the best. Thanks for sticking it out for me!
But in all seriousness, I can't say enough about you. When I walked in your classroom for the first time, I had no idea I would have a cheerleader for life. I didn't know you would teach me things that weren't in the book. I was unaware of just how much I could relate to you. And honestly, I had no idea that when I left your classroom, I would be much better than when I entered it.
So, thank you for accepting a smaller paycheck to fill bigger shoes. Thank you for coming in every single day and being my teacher, no matter what was going on in your personal life. I noticed. Thank you for not letting some students' indifference about your class affect your teaching. Thank you for always making me feel like my opinion mattered. Thank you for letting me sit in on your class when I just couldn't bear to balance another equation in chemistry (because let's be honest, I was done after one of those suckers). Thank you for understanding that sometimes you seriously just need to have a movie day. Thank you for believing in my goals and ambitions more than I did at times. I noticed.
Thank you for "the look" we shared when we both just couldn't believe how insane my classmates actually were (now that I think about it, we probably shared more of these than we should have). Thank you for making me laugh--even on Monday's. Thank you for making me feel like when I left, I could always walk back into your classroom and be welcomed again.
Most importantly, thank you for being not only my teacher, but my mentor when I asked for it and my friend when I didn't.
You invested in me even when it wasn't between the hours 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., and that's what separated you from the rest. You're the kind of educator I wish everyone could experience because you go above and beyond your actual job description. I noticed. Some students and other professions don't always realize it, but you work so much more than the typical 40 hour work week. Yes, you taught me the required curriculum, but you also taught me lessons that I know weren't typed out in your lesson plans (including learning how to play the accordion...thanks Mrs. Brewer.)
While most sweep education under the rug, thank you for understanding its importance. You continue to inspire me and countless other students far after graduation day, yet it's so easy to forget to thank you for all that you've done.
So, thank you for impacting the world-- one mind at a time.
With all of my respect,
The Student Who Noticed You.