Dear Mrs. Karra … I mean Mrs. Esenberg,
Sometimes I forget that calling teachers by their first name can be inappropriate since the college I attend is on a first name basis. I promise not to make that mistake again. But, I didn’t decide to write this thank-you letter to tell you about college, well not directly, or the proper way to address teachers. I want to thank you for your amazing work and your awesome English class.
Your class impacted my teaching career in such a tremendous way. First, my minor is English and that’s the obvious inspiration. Secondly, I must explain this awesome realization by taking us back to my class with you. When I entered your room my sophomore year, (maybe junior year – I’m sorry the time period is a little fuzzy, but what I learned isn’t), you had a large smile on your face and glowing eyes that were full of excitement.
You were honest about that year being your first year of teaching and how you were trying out new things. You said that each semester you were changing the content of the class to personalize the class for each group. My group learned about Darfur, genocide, racism, equality, double standards, and laws in different countries. Before then, I didn’t know much about what was happening in my city, let alone the world, but you taught us about other cultures and serious issues in other places. But what stayed with me wasn’t written in your lesson plans or in the curriculum.
What stayed with me was in your voice, your eyes, and your demeanor. You allowed your passion for a better world to flow into us. You made it seem so simple for us to do SOMETHING about our society. You dared us to be the fruit in the mold of boring Jell-o.
Now let me tell you that I am doing that and will continue to do that … in a classroom, just like you. You may not have realized it, but you changed a small part of the world by touching the hearts of the students in your classroom. When I think of teaching, I think of that, the hearts of students. Whether that is to help foster a heart for learning or a heart for society, I am on my way. Thanks for being my inspiration.
Hamilton High School Graduate 09’
Cecilia Marrero is a junior at Alverno College where she’s majoring in Elementary/Middle Education. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband, and is looking forward to becoming a teacher when she graduates.
With gratitude I am reminded this morning about how important my profession is. This open letter was brought to my attention and has filled my soul with such warmth that there are absolutely no words. As I am about to end my tenth year and enter a second decade as an educator I can only tell you, Cecilia, and all your readers, to always maintain the same passion and love for educating as you have entering. Never lose yourself and do not forget why you teach. I do not doubt that beautiful students like yourself will remind you once in a while as well of how awesome your effect can be in the world. THANK YOU!