The lasting impact of teachers: thank you for helping shape the adults my kids are becoming

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week… a time-honored tradition in many schools. Back in the day when my four kids were young, it was almost a competition to see which class could spoil their teacher the most.

Although those carefree elementary school days are gone – replaced by high school stress and college finals – I’ve been reflecting on all the teachers that helped shape and mold my children into the young adults they are, and are becoming.

Simply…Thank You.

Thank you to the kindergarten teacher that stopped by our home on the last day of school because my child was sick and missed saying goodbye. To that 1st grade teacher who set up a stage in his class and made math facts fun. To that young 2nd grade teacher who invited my daughter to her wedding. To that 3rd grade teacher who took extra safeguards for my allergy-plagued child. To the 4th grade teacher that later helped my child navigate college admission to a school 3,000 miles away. To the 5th grade teacher who helped my child through tough ‘girl drama.’

Oh the middle school years. Thank You.

Thank you to the 6th grade teacher who helped my daughter enjoy math – she graduated college with a science degree and almost straight A’s. To the 7th grade social studies teacher that a 23-year old still remembers as her favorite. To the 8th grade LA teacher who found a book my ‘I hate reading’ son couldn’t put down.

High School. Where to start. How about another round of Thank You.

Thank you to the 9th grade science teacher and counselor who removed a barrier and gave a 14-year the confidence to challenge himself. To the 10th grade Spanish teacher who was like a second mom and a history teacher who opened their eyes to exploring the world. To the 11th grade LA teacher who inspired a college major – she graduates soon and credits you for helping her succeed in college writing classes. To the all the 12th grade teachers that helped them see whatever plan they set for themselves was worth attaining.

And thank you to the college teachers and professors that helped them discover a passion; hone their skills; and embrace – not fear – their futures.

So to all the teachers out there: may you know you have a lasting impact. On students. On parents. On future paths that are just being discovered or have led them to their post-school life.

It takes a village and teachers are a huge part. Here’s to hoping teachers never forget that those kids who turn into adults remember the moments, the lessons learned and take them along as they journey through this thing called life.

You make a difference.

One last time. Thank you.



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