The student was cute and smart when she came to the school in kindergarten, cuter and smarter when she left 6 years later.
Her family was strong and supportive, one teacher was not going to change the quality of her life. No heroic necessary or needed. But connections where created, memories made, and time binds us blindly.
Awkward visits through the middle school years kept the connections and dialogue fresh. They honored the work that we had done even though it was never needed.
Winks and waves from a cheerleader through the crowded stands suggested we were remembered through the frenzied haze of high school, a graduation announcement told us our job was done.
Given our past, and the trajectory she had always had, it is somehow both surprising and understandable that the letter came a couple weeks ago.
“…As part of my senior thesis work at the University of Washington, I have been researching the effects of gratitude in early adolescents’. I won’t bore you with the details unless you ask, but simply put, gratitude is important to both identify and express….”
“…I was lucky enough to have many wonderful teachers, but none made as indelible a mark on me as you three. I have heard your voices and seen your smiles countless times as I interview kids around Seattle…”
“…You made a difference in my life, and I truly am grateful beyond words…. Thank you, for teaching me to think for myself as I listen carefully to others.”