Teacher Appreciation

Last week was teacher appreciation week. One of the days, I happened to catch #thankateacher on Twitter. The Department of Education tweeted:

This made me think about more than a handful of students who have, over the years, thanked me for providing a safe space where they could be themselves. I have a tendency to attract the queerlings and the nerdlings and they’re all fabulous.

More immediately, I thought about a student of mine who reminds me of me as a teen (though she’s able to articulate her challenges, where I didn’t have the language, even when I was older than she is now). She said that my class and Mr. A____’s class were the spaces where she felt safe.

Maybe I would have found this place – the place where there’s a Safe Zone poster on my classroom door (one of 5 in the building), the place where I have the spot people want to come to be their authentic selves. But I 100% believe that I co-created this space with my students (and the others that I manage to pick up along the way) because I had a teacher who provided me with the space when I needed it the most.

I don’t remember much from high school, but I do remember Swiss Rolls and milk, and doing AP Stat & Prob homework in Simon’s room during lunch. I think we talked sometimes, but I don’t remember the conversations. I do remember she tried to kick me out of her class for the best possible reasons. I am thankful, now, that my mother insisted I graduate with Indiana Academic Honors, which necessitated my staying in Simon’s class.

All of that to say, I wanted to write Simon a handwritten note, too. So I did, and then put it on Instagram.

Do you remember the teachers who had a positive impact on your life? I’d love to hear your stories. 

One comment

  1. I have a few teachers that I’m thankful for, most of them are teachers from elementary school. I’m actually friends with my fourth-grade teacher on Facebook.


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