I have a huge soft spot for teachers – my best friend is a teacher, my roommate is a teacher, my cousin is a teacher, I was even at school to be a teacher for a hot minute before I realized I wasn’t cut out for it. I love teachers because they do one of the hardest jobs (managing a room full of 20 or more people who don’t necessarily want to be there for six hours) without a complaint. There’s no counting how many lives they change, how many geniuses they teach, or how many ideas they inspire. It’s pretty tough for any other career to top that.
I wanted to take a second to highlight all of those life-altering moments that we often overlook as a way to say thank you.
We all have a Mr. Feeney or John Keating, a teacher who has made us into the people we are today and has given us our education and every opportunity in the world that they could offer. As school comes back into session, I wanted to take a second to highlight all of those life-altering moments that we often overlook as a way to say thank you. We recognize all of the work that you do. We appreciate you. Here are some stories of the incredible things teachers have done for their students:
5th Grade Math Teacher
“My 5th grade teacher would meet with me before school started to help me in math. She didn’t have to do any of this and it involved waking up at 6:30 every day to meet before school to help me and didn’t get paid anything extra. She didn’t let me give up when I got frustrated and I will never forget how she helped because she just wanted to. Greatest teacher I’ve ever had…The best kind of teacher are the ones who genuinely love to teach.”
A college music Professor
“I moved out of my home really young, and when I was in college (in England, so I was 16) my music teacher used to stay behind classes and help me with trivial things but things I needed to know. How to pay my bills properly, how to budget, how to separate my washing correctly…she took her own time to help me with a very serious problem I was going through, that was affecting all of my life including my education. It helped me get my life on track!”
11th Grade Chemistry Teacher
“In chemistry it’s really important to understand how to convert between different ways of measuring things. For example, you can convert from something called moles, into grams when you factor in the molar mass of the ‘item.’ To help make practicing these conversions more fun, our chemistry teacher gave us a cookie recipe with everything in moles, and it was our job to convert it to grams to be able to make the cookies. To get the grades we had to submit the conversions AND she had to taste test the cookies! It was so great to see a teacher turn a pretty boring and standard skill into something dynamic.”
12th Grade English Teacher
It was pretty incredible for a 12th grade teacher be able to help students feel comfortable in front of a class full of peers when they were probably used to falling into the background all their life.
“My 12th grade English teacher was by far the most inspiring teacher I’ve ever had. Instead of sitting in your cold, hard, metal chairs reading from a stupid and boring book (probably pop-corning each other) she would have someone play each part of the story. One person for each character, and someone was the narrator, we had props, everyone would get dressed up in these outfits, boys would play female parts (quite hilarious) and we would act out the book in the classroom. Everyone got super into and it was pretty incredible. It was important because it’s awkward reading out loud (for some people) and it’s easy to get flustered when you mess up a word or two, but in front of the classroom acting it out, laughing while reading, no one gave a sh*t if you messed up. It definitely helped bring a lot of ‘shy’ people out of their little shell in that class. You saw unique sides to people you normally wouldn’t in class. It was pretty incredible for a 12th grade teacher be able to help students feel comfortable in front of a class full of peers when they were probably used to falling into the background all their life. Thanks Mrs. Rieger. You’re the best.”
11th Grade History Teacher
“I can’t remember the day, or the context, or what was going to prompt her to say this, but I’ll never forget the day Ms. Robb said to my AP U.S. History class ‘you teach people how to treat you.’ I think she meant that when you’re kind to yourself, and respect yourself, and genuinely have confidence in your abilities, that all will be reflected in the way people see you. I can’t think of a better thing to say to a group of high school students; as a young, insecure teenager, I was totally moved by these words. They’re ones that I live by to this day.”
11th Grade English Teacher
“The first day of English class junior year, our teacher told us she already had an assignment for us. Our summer reading book was Nineteen Minutes by Jody Picoult and I actually really enjoyed it more than I did in past years. We sat down wherever we wanted, she gave us an opinion prompt, and she gave us about 15-20 minutes to write a well-thought piece, pretty much solely using our own opinions but citing from the book as well. I think this lesson was so important because it gave me my first (very small) taste of what college is like. I honestly hadn’t had the chance to write an actual opinion essay in all of grade school, so at first I really wasn’t even sure what to do (embarrassingly enough)! We were given many impromptu essays just like that one, and the class really helped me learn to think on my feet and improve my critical thinking skills.”
As we all return to school, I want you to remember that without your teachers, you wouldn’t be studying to be an engineer, or a doctor, or the next big app developer. As you face your inevitable successes, whether those be in your education, social life, or your career, remember the people who put in countless hours to put you there. And to all of our teachers, thank you. You’re the real MVPs.
Featured image via YouTube.