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Male teacher with students

It’s our favorite time of year: Teacher Appreciation Week of 2017 has officially begun! It is so important to let teachers know how important they are and the impact they make not only on the lives of their current students, but when students carry those lessons into college and adulthood.

To honor how teachers change the lives of students, both educationally and emotionally, some grateful people submitted memories of how a teacher helped them through a rough day or a rough year.

A Lasting Bond

“When I was in elementary school, I was very sick – in and out of the hospital every few months and I was in for about a week at a time. Every time I was admitted to the hospital, my kindergarten teacher would make sure she would come and visit me and bring me a stuffed animal. Even after I had moved into middle school she never failed to come check on me.” – aimeef4ecdabc50

Helping A Concept ‘Click’

“When I was little, I had a really hard time learning how to read. Either it was boredom, complacency, or I really just wasn’t getting it. It became a real problem for me in the first grade when literally all of the other children seemed more on par than I was and it was clear to my teacher, Mrs. Luker, that I was struggling. I remember it being brought to the attention of my mother and was told that this needed to be taken seriously and she even did some research and ordered me some at-home workshop material (kind of like Hooked on Phonics) and I was to do exercises on my own and practice at home. I don’t know how or why it clicked, but it did. And that extra bit of care by someone who I thought I didn’t matter to (both my teacher and my mother) really meant a lot to me. And it only progressed from there. By the eighth grade, I was reading and writing at university levels and never looked back. I’m in my thirties now and this memory still sticks out for me. And I’m eternally thankful to her, always.” – Steacy Curry Pascale

The Comforter

“I used to get really bad anxiety and panic attacks last year, and once I had a panic attack in class and she took me outside the classroom and gave me Oreos and chocolate Yazoo milkshake. It was the purest thing, and I could tell she was stressed herself as it was close to exams, but she still took that time out of teaching to make sure I was OK. She was always there for people to talk to (I went to her crying several times) and encouraged everyone in their work. Literally one of the most dedicated people I’ve met.” – rachconnolly29

A Good Listener

“Back in the old days, I was a troublemaker, but yet a really quiet student. One day in high school, our English teacher asked us to write a poem about our life. Most of the times, I would just write anything that came up in my mind. But this time, I decided to write about my real-life problems and troubles. When I finished it, I gave the poem to my teacher. He only read it once and he understood everything. He understood why my behavior was like that, and why I was such a quiet girl. He looked at me, and hugged me without saying a word. That has definitely been the most necessary hug I’ve ever needed.” – michellesancheza

The Confidence Boost

“Once a girl in my class told me I was too dark to wear yellow and that I looked ugly in my yellow sweater (which I loved). My teacher, who was also dark-skinned and crazy beautiful, pulled me aside and told me not to listen to her. She said my skin was beautiful and I could wear whatever the hell I wanted. That was, like, 12 years ago and it still means so much.” – Eboni Carman

To read more memories of great teachers, click here.

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