08 September 2011

corner view

:: indispensable ::

I found a card in my mailbox at school yesterday:

Dear Ms. K,

Thank you so much for all you've done for me these past few years. I have really enjoyed working with you as well as getting to know you as a friend. I also want to thank you so much for your recommendation letter. I know it is because of your letter that I'm going to Berkeley on scholarship.  Aside from that, you've taught me a lot of life lessons that I will always remember. You've helped prepare me for this next part of my life and I cannot thank you enough for that. Our high school is far from being perfect but you are one of the better things about it, as well as one of the best teachers that I have ever had. I'm going to do my best to stay in touch and I will stop by and see you anytime that I am in town. Thank you again for everything!

Very Respectfully,
A Recent Graduate


For a high school teacher, this kind of note is indispensable (absolutely necessary). It validates in a way that test scores and performance appraisals can't.

PS. My letter of recommendation did not gain him admission to Berkley. He is an amazing kid young man with a bright future. We are in good hands with kids like him in the next generation.

PSS. We are not friends, but he knows that I care about him, for him . . . that is indispensable for young people. When a student has the feeling that I care, I can get him/her to do almost anything :)

PSSS. We treasure these notes from parents, too. When is the last time you wrote one?

For more Indispensable Corner Views . . . see Francesca.


  1. I always suspected you were a good teacher and now I know for sure. :) Incredible!

    Katherine has a teacher who she's been *raving* about since Day One. I've been thinking about sending her a note, just to thank her for inspiring Katherine so much, but then I thought that might be weird. After reading this though, maybe I'll wait a few months and then tell her. She ought to know she's making an impact...right?

  2. Notes like that are pure fuel for teachers, aren't they? (They are even better when you get them after grades have been turned in! I tend to question those that arrive just before the final exam.)

  3. This is so precious. I think most teachers would welcome such a note on a regular basis...

    (I never wrote to my teachers, but I did tell them in person what they had meant to me. When I was a little drunk, at the graduation party. 'Cause I didn't have the guts otherwise. Shy kid. Very shy.)

  4. Actually, I thanked my sons teacher this week for caring so much. It must make you feel good to get notes like this.

  5. I love it! You must be thrilled! If only we got more letters like this. It would make our job so much easier on "those" days.


  6. nice card and nice words. my eldest starts high school on monday (!), hope to be writing notes like this very soon!

  7. Emily -- by all means, send her a note!

    It really does provide validation for us.

    Just yesterday at Open House a mom stopped by with a "Back to School" baggie for me with a couple of pens and post it notes along with a card that included a brief note and her contact information. That stuff goes a long way with teachers! I not saying you need to go out and buy school supplies to keep your child's teacher happy . . . just . . . even a quick email introducing yourself and letting him/her now that you are available to help from time to time. This is the kind of involvement we often need. . .parents who are present, not parents who are helicoptering over us and the kids questioning every move me make.

    Check out this article: http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html


  8. That's wonderful :-)It's so good to feel appreciated. He was lucky to have you as a teacher!