In celebration of The Day of the Teacher, Kelly Kovacic over at the InterACT blog has come up with a unique way to recognize her former teachers:  She’s writing short thank you notes recognizing the role that they’ve played in her life.

As Kelly explains:

“I was fortunate to have many dedicated and capable teachers as I went through the K-12 public school system in my hometown of Arcadia, California. 

In recognition of some of the excellent teachers who played important roles in my life and in my career as an educator, and in recognition of The Day of the Teacher, May 12, I want to send out a few of my own thank you notes.”

Like Kelly, I had a ton of great teachers during the course of my school career, but none stands out more than my fifth grade teacher at Northwoods Elementary School, Mrs. Morosini.  I figured she deserved a thank you today, so here goes:

Thank You, Mrs. Morosini, for being one of the most challenging teachers that I ever had the chance to learn from.  I’ve got to say that when I walked into your fifth grade classroom as an active 10 year old boy, I was scared to death!

I’d heard rumors about how strict you were from everyone in my neighborhood, and those rumors were confirmed on the first day of school when you yelled at me for whispering to Karen Swiderski!

“Billy,” you said, “Is that REALLY the impression you want to make on the first day of school!”

I wilted under your glare, but that was a pattern that repeated itself about a thousand times from August to June too, wasn’t it?

There was something about being in a class with all of my buddies that made an already distractible kid even more distracted!  Whether I was talking out of turn to Brian Bushcowski, letting Karen cheat off of my math papers, or whipping up fart juice with Paul Pfluger, I had to be more than an handful, huh?

And you were definitely the hammer of justice!

If we could go back and dig up my discipline records from your classroom, they’d make a great read today.  It’s kind of surprising that we both survived, actually—-especially after Battlestar Galactica left Paul and me inspired enough to shout regularly about the chocolate covered Cylons coming out of our butts while coming in from recess each day.

Somewhere in the thousand “warm conversations” that you and I shared, you said something that has defined who I am as a person, though.  You said, “Bill, it takes a long time to earn someone’s trust and respect and only one stupid mistake to lose it all.” 

That made sense to my tweenage brain—-and it has served as a constant reminder to me in every relationship since.

I can even hear your voice when I’m standing on the edge of a tricky decision that could change what others think of me and MOST of the time, I choose to avoid the stupid mistakes that defined me as a child.

Kind of wild, isn’t it?

You were the teacher that was the hardest on me as a child.  I can honestly say that I’m not sure I enjoyed a moment of your class while I was living it.  But you’re also one of the teachers who has shaped who I am as a man.

For that, I owe you one!

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