Teachers don’t just teach their subject, they teach who they are. They teach humility, patience, enthusiasm and perseverance. They inspire us to rise higher than ourselves to a living a life of service. They teach us to never give up on our dreams.
As your school, college or graduate year comes to an end, in the milieu of excitement to about your next milestone, anticipation for results, admission marathons, and friends’ separation blues, taking a little time to write your teacher a thank you letter is a common courtesy well received, especially when they’re not expecting it. They’re really just happy to see you succeed. Here are some tips to writing a thank you letter to your teacher for their support.
Begin with words of gratitude, appreciating the big things and the small. Along with your note you could surprise them with a gift; a mug with a nice thank-you-teacher quote, or a gift you deem appropriate.
Mention the things your teacher did for you, how they helped you overcome challenges, what they taught you besides their subject, and how that influenced your personality and thinking.
Conclude with how you plan on implementing their teachings into your life and work. It will make their day! And let them know you will be there if there’s ever anything you could do for them in the future. I’ve heard stories of teachers who remembered their students, decades later, when they couldn’t even remember their only family members. Taking a selfie or a class photo with your teacher and including it in your letter is also a great idea to make it even more special.
And now, for a sample thank you letter from a student to a teacher for supporting him throughout his study year.
November 27, 2016
Ms. Linda Canfield
Professor of Screenwriting
Somerset School of Film and Production
2680 Meadow Lane
Ukiah, CA 95482
Dear Ms. Canfield:
First day at film school. A beam of sunshine spilling through the windows, a clamorous crowd of odd looking people arguing about who should have been Batman. Beads of sweat on my upper lip. In short, it’s going to be a disaster. That’s what I was thinking, until you walked into class with a knowing and reassuring smile, and said: “I see you’ve picked your places. Long shot for comedy, close-up for tragedy,” and got me rolling with laughter, and forgetting how nervous I had been. I knew then that it was going to be the best four years of my academic life.
You came to teach me screenwriting, and I learned so much more from you, of you: humility, patience, perseverance, and never giving up. No matter how absurd my own ideas sounded to me, they never did to you. Instead of laughing at me, you said: “Okay, let’s get this show on the road!”
Thank you for being my teacher, my mentor, my inspiration. Thank you for showing me the ropes. Thank you for pushing me to stretch my limits for days with no sleep. You have made a screenwriter out of me. You have made me a better person. I will dedicate my first screenplay to you, and I’ll always be here if there’s anything I could ever possibly do for you.
Class of 2016