Wow, I am definitely blessed–there are so many people who have made a difference in my life, and I am grateful for every single one. I could have chosen to thank any of them for this particular RAoK, but I singled out one of my high school English teachers, Mrs. D., who also appointed me to my first ever “management” position as editor of the high school newspaper. Looking back at my senior year, I realize it was the official starting point of the journey that has led me to where I stand today. Because she believed in my abilities, I was kind of forced (by my unwillingness to let her down) to find the confidence to step outside my comfort zone and take on responsibilities and challenges that I normally would have shied from.
Countless times over the past few years, I’ve thought of tracking her down and telling her how big an impact she had on my life. Countless times, I’ve procrastinated (shocking, I know) and the letter never got written. This month’s challenge was the kick in the seat of the pants that I needed to get it done. I Googled Mrs. D., on the off chance that she was still living in the same town and I’d be able to find her address. The search led me to my old high school, where I expected to find an outdated page listing her as a faculty member. I was a little surprised to be directed by the link to the school’s current website. Browsing the staff pages, I was shocked to the tips of my toes to find that she is still teaching! I graduated high school 24 years ago, mind you, and I’m fairly certain she was not a rookie back then. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I pulled up the English faculty photo and found Mrs. D. looking EXACTLY THE SAME AS SHE DID IN 1990!!
Knowing how many students she must have had between then and now, I’m not sure my name will ring a bell, but I hope my letter will still bring a smile to her face. As a teacher myself, I can tell you there have been days when I’ve gone to bed wondering if anything I’ve done has made a difference to anyone. If she’s ever had that same doubt, I hope my letter will be proof that her hard work and dedication did/do matter a great deal.
In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!
If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2018 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂
April 30, 2014 at 9:34 AM
That’s wonderful you sent that letter, it’s sure to have made her feel awesome. In fact, that it comes so many years later will be bound to have more of an impact. I love how you say she looks the same as she did then, I have also noticed some teachers never seem to change!