The Chicago Cubs, Jim Carrey, mac ‘n’ cheese, and thank you notes to teachers. What’s in common with all these? We definitely need more of these! And even if you’re not a Cubs’ fan, you most probably wouldn’t disagree with the fact that our teachers have played a very important part to do with who we are today.
Begin with the Why
“If you can read this thank a teacher.” – Harry S. Truman
This simple, yet powerful truth is enough reason to thank a teacher, and when your college or graduate application is accepted, all the more reason to write a thank you note, to the teacher whose recommendation gave you that much-needed push, just like she saw you through your courses and growth as an individual.
This is your moment to show your teacher how much you appreciate him. However small, he will cherish your note, and if it’s handwritten, even more so. The length of the letter does not matter, it’s the thought that counts. If you’re not the expressive type, don’t lose sleep over it. Coming from the heart, even a 140-character note will mean the world to your teacher. To her, your success is already the reward.
It’s the Little Things
It’s that understanding look in her eyes when you had so many questions and couldn’t bring yourself to ask, that calm voice that makes it sound so easy, that made many students grow into confident adults who in turn became teachers, leaders, or inspirational figures. Now’s the time to talk about the little things your teachers did for their students, the small details that they paid attention to that made learning so enjoyable and memorable.
November 24, 2016
Mr. Robert Jennings
Northview High School
4980 Steele Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Dear Mr. Jennings:
You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You rooted for me when not one of my friends and family thought I could do it. You patiently taught me when I didn’t want to be taught. You wrote me a recommendation when it wasn’t part of your job and certainly an extra mile to go while inundated by piles of assignments to grade, and lesson plans to prepare.
I will never forget how you went beyond being a history teacher to being a mentor and staying late just so I can have someone by my side while I stumbled through my math assignments. You didn’t have to do that, and it left a mark on me. You have no idea how this selfless act of yours changed my life.
No words can express my gratitude. Thank you from the core of my heart, not just for writing me the recommendation letter that got me into Princeton, but also because I could never have become who I am now without you.