Dear Mr. Cole,
I have thought about writing this letter so many times. Hundreds of times, in fact. However, something always comes up. Life got in the way of me doing something I should have done 20 years ago.
It is long past time that I thanked you for being a great teacher. It is hard to believe it has been more than two decades since I was a junior in high school and sat in your American Studies class.
My mom and step-father has just gotten divorced, I was working long hours after school and staying up late to do homework. My life was in turmoil and by the time I sat down in your class in the late afternoon, I was exhausted. I remember falling asleep at my desk almost every day. I was struggling.
My other teachers didn’t notice; or didn’t care to. You did. One day, you returned one of my papers with a hand-written note…I know you’re going through a rough time, but college is not that far away and you need to start thinking about your future. I know you comprehend what I’m saying. You’re smart and you write well. Don’t blow it.
Knowing that someone cared and that someone believed in me, at that point in time, was life-altering; possibly life-saving. Thank you for that. I knew that if I really needed to reach out to someone, you would be there.
Thank you for your knowledge and your kindness. Thank you for teaching me the beauty of the written word, for sharing your faith and for reaching out to a slacking student.
Thank you for being the best teacher I ever had.