It feels like just yesterday I was sitting in your classroom listening to your lectures, reading books, and filling out worksheets. It baffles me that years have gone by. Time has passed so quickly since high school, the thought of which ushers me into periods of reflection. I think of you often and of how much you taught me--not only in reference to the curriculum, but to life in general.
Of course, you did do a great job teaching the curriculum. You made those "I Can" statements and the Common Core State Standards seem fun. As an education student myself, I see now that it may not always have been easy to think of activities to engage your students, but truly--in your class--there were so many creative assignments that helped us learn the material. Regarding lesson planning, you were a super star.
However, there is more to education than simply teaching the standards, and this is what distinguishes you from other teachers I've had. As cheesy as it may sound, you taught me a lot about life in general. When I was in your class, I was going through some difficult trials. High school kids can be petty and mean at times, and I was the victim of a significant amount of bullying. However, in your class, I always felt safe. You valued me as a human being, you always encouraged me, and you were available to talk whenever I needed you. I can't thank you enough for simply being my friend. You reminded me to keep my head up, and you assured me that everything would turn out O.K. And really, it has. After going through the divorce of my parents, the two-year separation from my best friend, years of bullying, and the stress of having to choose a college, everything has turned out even better than O.K. Thank you for always being there for me, for handing me tissues when I came to cry to you after school, for standing up for me when I needed an advocate, and for showing me what it means to be an authentically good person.
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl, and having an educator like you has only served to strengthen that desire in me. You have been my biggest inspiration. Yes, I am excited to teach the content of my areas of concentration, but more than that, I am so looking forward to building my students up, encouraging them, helping them through their trials, and loving them--just as you have done for me.
You may have only been my teacher for a year, but you will remain in my heart for a lifetime. Thank you for everything.