Dear World,

If you have a teacher in your life, please read this post.

If you have a teacher in your life who does not do a good job for you or your child, I am so sorry. Please know that there are those of us out there just waiting to get you / your child in our classrooms & make a connection with you.

If you have a teacher in your life who goes above & beyond / makes you or your child want to go to school / does the extra things that make school memorable, say thanks. A sincere note of appreciation makes all the extra hours worth it. It validates coming in on a sick day to show The Polar Express to third graders after school & staying up late to make a calendar for off track months so you can find free / affordable activities to do in our area & laminating writing late at night because we’re so proud of what the kids have done.

Gift cards are thoughtful. Teacher-themed gifts are (please) unnecessary. Truly though, that note that says, “Listen, I see the amount of time you put in. It goes above and beyond what you need to do, and we appreciate you.” That note is worth more than any gift you could give.

“Thank you” is always in good taste.

That said, I try to write a letter each year to a former teacher who made a difference in my life – Miss Anna, my second grade teacher who hand-lettered everything & let me read what I wanted, Mr. McKinney, my fifth grade teacher who always pushed me to research & write & read more and whose patience in taking our class to the county library each week will never be forgotten, Mrs. Klopf, my seventh grade English teacher who wrote encouraging notes on my poetry & let me call her by her first name (which was the same as mine), Mr. Haydock, my high school speech coach who gave so generously of himself at such a young age (less than 10 years older than me), and Mr. Madison, my twelfth grade English teacher who turned the classroom into his stage & held us captive.

Those notes are treasured more than a mug or gift card could ever be.

Thank you in advance!

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