Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankful #8

I am thankful for teachers. This is not a shameful plug for me or my profession, I promise. I am thankful for those men and women that taught me.

The other day, through a random Facebook comment, I remembered my 7th grade Texas history teacher and decided to email her. She was the reason I fell in love with Social Studies, specifically Texas History, and I wanted her to know.

I sent this email:
Hello Mrs. ________________,

I am a former student of yours, though not officially. I don't remember my 7th grade history teacher's name, but three teachers taught Texas history together and you were one of them. I graduated high school in 19___, so would have been in 7th grade 19__-19__ (if I have done my math correctly!) I am a teacher in Houston now. I teach 4th graders Reading, Writing and Social Studies. 4th grade is also Texas history and is my favorite subject to teach. I wanted you to know that you're the reason for that! :) I remember your love for your subject. I vividly remember one lesson about Native American practices after a hunt when the young man, whose arrow brought the buffalo down, was able to cut out the heart and bite into it right there kneeling beside the slain animal. I don't go into those details with my 9 year olds, but I do try to instill a passion into them for learning. :)

I saw on Facebook that another H_______ Alumnus, __________________, came back to H_______ this week to talk about journalism. I asked if any teachers were there that we knew, and he mentioned you. I knew immediately I wanted to send you an email and say, "hello!"

Alyssa _____________

Today, I received an email in reply.

Hi Alyssa-
I was so glad to hear from you! I got out my yearbook and looked up your picture and I do remember you.
It is always gratifying to hear from a former student, especially one who went into teaching. I love teaching Texas history and am so glad you do also. I love it so much I would do it for free.
This is my 34th year at H________----can you believe it? I now teach some of the kids of students I used to have back in the 80's.
Getting your email made my day! I started crying as I read about your memories of an Indian lesson I taught. I still teach that lesson each year.
Thanks so much for taking the time to contact me. It means so much. I will keep that message forever!

Last Friday was Teacher Appreciation Day. Do you have a teacher you should contact? Someone that changed your life or your perspective perhaps? We all know how words affect us. Encouraging words can brighten someone's day. Maybe even help them to continue in a profession that has become overwhelming with testing, paperwork and ...well, the list is endless.

I'm thankful for my 7th grade history teacher today. Whom are you thankful for? Tell them!

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