An Open Letter To The Teachers Who Changed My Life

Dear past teachers,

 

I hope your school year is off to good start. I hope your classes are not causing you too much trouble and your families are doing well. You might be wondering why you are on this webpage and what this is all about. It’s November, the month for being thankful. I have a lot of things in my life to be thankful for– my mom, my friends, my family, my boyfriend, my dogs, etc. – but I feel that every Thanksgiving, there are certain people in my life I forget to thank - my teachers. Some of you I had over a decade ago, some of you might not even remember who the heck I am. But if you’re reading this, this is my way of officially thanking you. For what? Let me explain.

To the ones who made me love learning as a whole – If you are an elementary school teacher, this goes out to you. You are the reason I am where I am today. If it weren’t for your hard work and dedication to teaching me and every other student what you know, my future would not be as bright as it is now. I chose to go to college because somewhere along the line, you taught me that education is important and I have to strive to help others by educating myself. This is not always easy, but you helped me understand that willingness to learn is one of the most important aspects of a person. For that, I am forever grateful for you and everything you have done for me and so many others.

 

To the ones who helped me find my passions– Writing, law, and helping people are what I love. No matter what I have been through in my life, everything goes back to the fact that in the future, I want to help people and I want to change the world. Writing and creating laws are what make that happen. Whether it be learning what caused laws to come into play, how the wording of laws is important, or even what the laws are in general, it changed who I am as a person. It made me realize that in the future, I don’t just want a shiny car, big mansion, and other material items. I want something that sticks with people for all time – and what better way to do that than to become an attorney and speak out for those who can't speak for themselves? Shout out to those teachers who helped me find my passion, and maybe even made an effort to help me pursue it as well.

 

To the ones who taught me more than the textbooks – you honestly saved me. You taught me that learning isn’t always about getting 100s on every test and being the perfect student. You helped me realize that a part of learning means making mistakes. You taught me that brushing yourself off, getting back up, and trying again is essential to get anywhere in this world. I grew up being the smart kid who never had to study and when the going got tough, I didn’t always know how to respond. You helped me with my problem solving skills and fixing things that needed fixing. This isn’t necessarily always talking about school, but life in general. You taught me that my value was not depicted by my score on a test, but rather who I was as a person. It is hard to put into words, but some of you honestly are the reason I am here today – succeeding in my first semester of college, off to law school before I know it. Thank you so much.

 

To the ones who didn’t know I could talk – I’m sorry I didn’t speak up more in your class. Many of you knew I had a lot to say, but knew I did not know how to say it or how to get the thoughts out. I promise you, even though you could not hear it, I am thankful for you - thankful that you did not force me out of my comfort zone. I know that may not sound like much, but when you have as much of a fear of speaking out as I do, that is such a big deal. Thank you for working with me and realizing that someone does not need to speak in order to have knowledge in their mind. Thank you for not basing my intelligence on my ability to present that information. It means a lot more than you will ever realize.

To the ones who don’t know why you made this list – Congratulations. Somewhere along the way, you impacted me in a way I felt was worth acknowledging you for. Maybe you said something in class that resonated with me and changed my outlook on a situation, or life in general. Maybe you just asked me if I was okay after class one day. If you’re sitting there scratching your head, wondering how you changed my life, please just know you did. You are important to me and many other students and I hope you know how much of an impact you have made over the course of your teaching career.

 

People tend to forget about their teachers and that needs to change. Teaching is such an underrated profession. People do not understand the work and dedication that goes into being an educator. I just want you to know that you are so important, not just to me, but to so many students that you may not even realize. You touch so many lives every day and you probably have no idea the impact you’re making on each and every one of your students, even the ones who never tell you. I hope one day soon, teachers will get the appreciation they deserve. They do so much for so little.

 

To all my past teachers, thank you for absolutely everything. You don’t know what you mean to me because words could never begin to explain the appreciation I have for you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving; I hope to see you soon.

 

With love,

Lauren Reed