Glass Half Full: Showing appreciation for your teachers
December 2, 2015
How often are we told that "today's kids" don't appreciate what they have? My experience has always been that students are frequently very kind, generous and remarkably articulate.
Please read the following letter, written by an eighth-grade girl to her teachers, totally unsolicited. Consider it a gift to all teachers who work hard to make a difference:
I wanted to thank you all for everything you do for not only me, but all the students at LTS. Hopefully this letter will prove just how much we appreciate it, even though I'm only writing from one perspective. Although some of the time (okay maybe most of the time), we take your teachings and support for granted, we all realize that it takes work and it doesn't just happen at the click of a heel. So I'm writing to say thank you, so much, because I'm really not sure how I'd be getting along without you.
You've all taught me a lot, like how to write an essay, solve algebraic equations, and how a chemical reaction works. But above all the academic stuff, you've taught me about life, and about myself. I've learned that I need to work for what I want, that it won't just happen. I've learned to be myself, and to let others be themselves without judgement. I've learned to be kind to others and, more importantly, to myself.
I've learned how to make friends. I've learned how to express my opinions without upsetting anyone else. I've learned how to tell the difference between a time when it's appropriate to be a little goofy and when it's not. I've learned how to learn. And I'm so grateful to know these things, as they are lessons I will never forget.
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Now that I've gotten through the long list of what you've taught me (although not everything, only what I found most important), it's time for one more list. This one's reasons I'm grateful to have you as my teachers. For one, you make learning fun. I love walking into my classes anticipating what we'll be doing that day (like lighting my hand on fire or having debates with my classmates).
I know that making learning so fun takes a lot of work, and I'm so glad you're willing to put in that work. I hope we make it worth it. I know that middle school students are difficult at times, and I'm grateful that you choose to deal with those times and wait for better ones. I'm also grateful that you spend so much time getting to know us and know how we'll react to things, and how to keep us interested and focused. I'm grateful that you're all so understanding and understand when someone might be having a bad day and is having trouble focus, or when someone needs help with someone.
All in all, I'm grateful for all you do for me and my peers. We want you to know we really do appreciate it.
Ruth Glass is headmaster at Lake Tahoe School. She can be reached for comment through her blog at http://www.laketahoeschool.org.