Who Inspires You? Expressing Teacher-Mentor Gratitude


This morning I opened my email and there was a wonderful surprise waiting for me. A teacher I worked with a decade ago had emailed me to say thank you for working with her all those years ago. She had gone on to become a literacy coach, and then a staff developer with a wonderful group of my colleagues on the west coast. She wanted me to know that she still remembered how I helped her during her first year teaching.

What a gift! It’s a rare thing that teachers get to find out whatever became of their students–and even more rare that teachers of adults ever hear from their students again. Occasionally, I will bump into a teacher I worked with long ago, or I’ll get a message via social media, or if I’m really lucky, I might get a heartfelt email like the one I opened this morning.

I encourage you all to reach out to someone who has been a mentor or an inspiration to you as a teacher and let them know how much you appreciate them: a professor, a colleague, a principal, a literacy coach, a staff developer. When you share your gratitude for someone’s support, you give them energy and inspiration to keep on going.