To the teacher who opened my eyes:
THANK YOU for being who you are and for doing what you did. I may not have realized it when I first stepped into your classroom on my first day of high school all those years ago, but I realized it in the weeks, months, and years that followed how lucky I was to have had such an incredible experience during my four years of high school being taught by you. This goes for both inside and outside of the classroom. To be honest, at the beginning I was scared. We had a test on that very first day, and some people failed. Not a single one of us was used to that, having never failed anything before. We were the gifted kids, the smart kids, and the accelerated kids. We were bright and talented and figured that we could get by with an "A" on just about everything without really studying at all. But were we wrong. And that is the first thing I learned: sometimes, you are wrong. The second thing I learned was to always read the textbook.
Thank you for being my teacher. My confidant. My role model. My inspiration. The biggest pain in my ass, and the best. Thank you for lighting a fire in me to take charge of my own education and my own life, so that I could grow into a person today who strives for excellence and never gives up. You taught me just about the entire history of the world, and how to be a better person. And for that, I owe you so much.
And now a group of students in your class has brought things to a startling halt. I am so sick of the, "This class was too difficult" and "She was too hard on us" bullshit. There is a difference between a teacher being too hard on their students and a teacher pushing their students to take an active role in their own education to do the best that they can do and to be the best that they can be. And I can tell you this: you are the latter. What is the wrong in that? Pushing someone to do their best? People think there is corruption in the education system? The corruption lies in the fact that not one, but two teachers were BANNED from teaching Advanced Placement classes to some of the brightest students in the school. Two teachers who have done nothing but produce successful students that have gone on to pursue great things in life. Look at the history (no pun intended): the students who went through those classes are now successful alumni and going on to chase their dreams and goals in incredible colleges all across the country. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I could not have gotten into the college that I am now attending, nor would I have been prepared for the workload, without the constant push, motivation, encouragement, and support from the greatest teacher I ever had during my time at G. Ray Bodley High School.
I was never so fascinated with the world around me until I stepped into your classroom. I had never seen the bigger picture out there, had never learned the importance of learning about our past to help our future. Because of you I am interested, I am passionate, and I have learned that in order to achieve things in life I must always work hard and never give up.
So thank you for opening up my eyes to the fact that there is a whole, wide world out there just waiting to be explored. For teaching me to learn as much as I can, to question always, to analyze and think critically, and to problem solve. Because of you I am a better person, and because of you, WE are a better GENERATION. My peers and I have ALL gone on to strive for greatness, to never settle, and to always try to be a part of the change in this ever increasingly heartbreaking world. I feel sorry for the next group of students to walk the halls in that high school without the opportunity to gain an education from you, because they will never know what we know. They will never learn what we learned. They will settle for mediocre and they will never know how to push for greatness.
I am forever grateful that I signed up for the first ever AP World History class at GRB HS. I don't know where I would be today if I hadn't had to memorize 100 countries around the world for that test on the very first day.