Open Letter to The Good Teacher

If you are a parent of a school-aged-kid you’ve made decision over decision over decision about your child’s education in the last couple years. You DIY’d school, skipped it, virtual’d it and assisted it. You sent your kids and kept them home and juggled the juggles, did the rapid tests and the isolation periods and the wondering what-on-earth-to-do’s.

Maybe you’ve laid awake staring at the dark, like me, wondering what you are doing wrong… or right… or missing.

You will do nearly anything for your kid, you want all the good stuff for them. But try as we might to meet their every need, parenting is not a solo venture and never will be. To say I’m grateful for good teachers is an understatement.

The Good Teachers are unsung heroes in our cities. They literally build foundations and change futures.

Have you ever spent several days with a five-year-old?

One day might be charming, three days might be challenging, a week… well… let’s just say it takes a special person to choose children every day. And those special people are the good teachers.

I constantly tell my kindergarten-teaching sister she’s a hero. It’s not an exaggeration. It’s not hyperbole:

Good teachers are heroes hidden in daily life.

And so, to our son’s teachers, to my sister, and to good teachers everywhere, insert your name here. Good teacher, I appreciate you.

Here’s why you’re a hero.

Dear Good Teacher,

You put in a lot of effort to finally get your own classroom of kids to care for. Eventually, they might start to feel like your own. But I imagine some days you’d rather stay in bed; some days take so much out of you.

I imagine the loud voices and laughter and bad jokes and silly choices are both fuel for your purpose and reason for your exhaustion.

I imagine your pride when you notice a child make progress and your weariness when you wonder why they still won’t flush and wipe right.

I imagine your excitement as you teach something you love and your discouragement as kids keep fighting.

I see the way you teach students to identify and deal with big feelings, equip them with questions to explore the world and encourage them to work well with others.

You might teach the ABC’s or algebra, but you also teach character and inspire kindness.

That’s because you’re A Good Teacher. And I’m so thankful you’re out there.

You, Good Teacher, are a hidden hero in daily life.

Because when a student is struggling, you see them, you support them.

You see the kid wearing the same socks for three days in a row, that can’t quite “get” some subject, or that struggles to make a friend.

You hear the stories of home-life heartbreak. Sometimes you can’t help but bring the burdens home with you. You practice your own self-care so you can keep caring.

You hold the girl while she has a seizure and someone calls 911. You sit down after a long day to make a hard phone call that keeps someone safe. You open your classroom app to communicate with parents after you feed your own family.

You see a child’s health issues, hurting heart or playground problems.

You see a child starting sounding out letters, quietly creating something new or frustrated about another assignment they can’t solve yet.

You see the problems and patterns but you also look for the solutions.

So, I just want to let you know… I see you.

I see the way you are always learning and the way you watch for new research that helps kids. I see the way you try new things, consider early interventions and implement individual learning plans.

This letter can’t possibly capture all that you see and do. So I just want to let you know…

I see your effort and investment in our children. You’re a gift to the child that walks through your classroom door because you are a good teacher.

Thank you, Good Teacher.

Your investment in the future of a child is an investment in the future of society.

I imagine it’s not always pretty or perfect and some days might feel like a drop in the ocean. But that’s what Niagara falls is made of; drops. Drops that power whole cities.

Thank you for the little and large ways your change the future for the good.

If the definition of a hero is a person admired for courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities, that’s you.


A thankful parent

If you’re a thankful parent, share this with a teacher you love.

Photograph by Note Thanun

3 thoughts on “Open Letter to The Good Teacher”

  1. Wow, thank you so much for this heart felt message. The busy-ness of the last week of school is waning and I just today am going through my school bag full of messages of thanks. I was reminded again to check out this site. I appreciate your thoughts and very kind words. Teaching is not an easy career path, but is probably one of the most rewarding. Where else do you get to impact lives so directly? So, thank you for being supportive and a great cheerleader. My heart is full.

  2. Doris Schuster

    Sarah, this is a great letter to good teachers everywhere. I’m fortunate to say that my son had good teachers in our local schools. They build good foundations with parents. Words well-written!

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