To the teachers that have molded me,

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To the teachers that have molded me,

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An open letter to the teachers that have molded me,

School is so much more than hours dedicated to homework or time spent staring at PowerPoints. So much of who I am is because of this place, this school, these teachers, and I have so many thanks to give to all of you.

To the teachers that tended my imagination, thank you. My mind is so much brighter now. You stretched the bounds of my creativity. You cultivated a sanctuary in my own capabilities, and that has been invaluable.

To the teachers that taught my math classes, thank you. You are so patient. I’m sorry I was always so confused.

To the teachers that made me feel small, thank you. Your lessons have perhaps been the most striking. You remind me that the world is bigger than I am, that not everyone cares about who or what I am. Thank you for saving your faith for someone else. You taught me to find it for myself.

To the teachers that taught me beyond my textbooks, you have made a home out of a high school.

To Mr. Nordhues, thank you for your passion; it’s infectious. I have learned so much from you. Thank you for not letting me believe there were things I can’t do, skills I can’t obtain, things I can’t achieve. Thank you for accepting my mistakes and encouraging my successes. I am a different and better person for having you as a teacher.

To Mrs. Richards, thank you for remembering my name on the first day. You have an uncanny ability to make everyone feel special and involved. Thank you for always betting on your students. Thank you for putting your faith in our abilities even when we don’t put our best foot forward. You make the most wonderful addition to our school and our choir.

To Mr. Anderson (RK), thank you for making me so frustrated. I don’t know that I have ever been so infuriated by trying to impress a teacher. Thank you for not making it easy (I’m still not sure if I did it). Taking your class reminded me to be humble. You taught me that nothing is always easy, not even the things I’m good at. Thank you for being patient and understanding and for tolerating the occasional, verbal rampage from me.

To Freddy, thank you for teaching me that I can be a leader, everyone can. It is so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and homework of high school, but this year, being a part of student council, I haven’t felt lost for even a second. Thank you for saying “hi” in the hallway, even if sometimes you mistake other people for me. Thank you for being a teacher that inspires me. I hope that one day I can make the impact you do.

To Mr. Ronyak, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for making me understand that my talents are worth something. Thank you for teaching me how special words are. Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for appreciating my voice. You made me feel visible and heard, and I can’t tell you what it has meant to me.

To Sra. Madrigal, thank you for tolerating me all year; I know I can be a little much. Thank you for listening to me mumble through my luces and talking to me about more than conjugation. You have taught me that often, the grades we get aren’t necessarily measurements of our abilities and certainly not measurements of our potential. Thank you for treating me like a person and for talking to me like what I say matters. That means so much. I hope that despite my occasional outburst of poorly spoken Spanish hysterics you enjoy having me in class as much as I enjoy having you as a teacher.

To Sra. Driste, thank you for asking me if I was okay when I wasn’t, and even more for asking when I was. Thank you for being so kind and understanding when I was so down. I will never forget the way you helped me. You have taught me that not everyone is going to understand who I am at my core. And it’s okay if they don’t understand. I do. Thank you for pushing me to succeed and do my best. You made me fall in love with Spanish and that, along with your compassion and thoughtfulness, will follow me in everything I do.

To Mrs. Nelson, thank you for being a friend. You have an impossible spirit. You are a person made of warmth and sympathy, and I am constantly in awe of your benevolence and unselfishness. You have taught me that there is a difference between hearing and listening. One day, when I am a teacher, I will remember you and hope I hold a candle.

To the teachers that wait after school to help us with questions we can’t find answers to, thank you for giving us a space to ask our questions fearlessly.

To the teachers that go to sporting events, tournaments, choir concerts, plays, and musicals, thank you so much. Investing in us in the classroom is the expectation, but investing in us beyond that means so much more.

To the teachers that gave me their ear even when I had nothing to say, you make all the difference.

To the teachers that have molded me, what you do is so important, thank you.

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