Saturday, February 16, 2013
Love Monster’s kinder teachers are phenomenal. And LM worships them in her own six year old way (which usually means bringing them cool sticks she found on the way in and making them drawings of unicorns). I nearly break down in tears to see how much they love and support her. Seeing how amazing Love Monster’s teachers are got me thinking about my own. Two immediately came to mind. My sixth grade teacher and my theatre teacher in high school. I decided to track them down (I found them on linked in) and write them a letter of appreciation. Teachers do so much for you. They shape you. They believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself. And at the time we don’t appreciate it at all and least not in the way retrospect can give you. Below is one of the letters I wrote:
Dear Mrs. L,
There are teachers you remember.
You are one of those teachers for me.
Fifth and sixth grade… wow that was not the best time for me confidence wise. I was awkward and unsure. And though I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, you instilled confidence in me. And now decades later after high school and college and coming to LA in my twenties to be an actress, then getting married, having two kids, realizing my true dream is to become a children’s book author, publishing two epicture books, getting divorced… after all of that, I want to thank you for being one of the first outside my family to believe in me before I did.
*Side note I posted my sixth grade pic the other day to give you an idea...
It’s been a long time since fifth and sixth grade! But I remember that time well. A few things stick out in particular. One, the poem. I remember the assignment. Write a poem describing something in detail without saying what it was. I did a poem about a rainbow and a pot of gold. I remember writing it with Sam and Ann. I felt so proud. My grandma even did a needlepoint of it! For some reason I didn’t remember that she made one for you as well. But when you mentioned you still had it when we touched base on LinkedIn, it gave me shivers. I still keep it by my desk. And it’s damn good I have to say! I use that poem when I do my author visits at elementary schools (doing those is a dream come true!). My writing career began in your classroom. When I discouraged, I look at it and the doubt floats away.
Another memory M.G. brought back to the forefront of my mind. Bridge to Terabithia! I remember acting scenes out with her during our reading time. Again, that nurtured the love of storytelling that I have.
And (drumroll please) my favorite memory? The prize you gave to your students when they passed all of the times tables tests: getting to check out the cab of your husband’s semi-truck. Oh my gosh. The best prize ever. It was the best motivation to getting those nines (and math was NOT my forte). Everyone in class couldn’t wait. We worked hard on doing those timed tests. And the prize was not a let down. I remember that day well. It was so cool!
But what I remember most is just you. Your warmth and wisdom and patience and support.
I wanted to write you to thank you. Thank you for being a teacher. Thank you for being my teacher. You made a difference.
Take a second and appreciate the teachers that made a difference in your life. They are awesome!