Dear Elementary Gym teacher: Thanks for humiliating me all the time because I couldn't climb ropes, run, or kick a ball (except for the one time when I did manage to kick it-right into your groin. Had I done it intentionally, I'dda done it a WHOLE lot harder!). Thanks for always listening only to the athletic kids, who were known for bullying me. Thanks for making fun of me because when you were the computer teacher, I couldn't memorize my keys as quickly as you wanted me to.
Dear 7th grade math teacher: I find it odd that your intern cared more about my success than you did. She knew I had a hard time reading the board, and moved me closer, making sure she only used colors that I could read easily. I felt confident asking her questions. What ever happened to her, do you know? I'd like to thank her.
Dear 8th grade math teacher: I realize that I was one of your first students and that by now, you've most likely improved your teaching skills, however, I still remember you telling my mom that I was lazy and wasn't trying hard enough on my genetics squares, or my math homework. I didn't understand, and you didn't seem to know how to help.
Dear 11th grade math teacher at the high school: I can't be a musician because I'm bad at math, huh? OK, whatever. By the way, the year after you failed me and called me lazy, I broke our school's record for Orchestra Solo/Ensemble and became the first orchestra student in 15 years to qualify for the State competition. Yeah, I'm clearly lazy! And you're now teaching other math teachers in that district how to be better math teachers? I'm officially scared now.
Dear other 11th grade math teacher: Your wife was my teacher for the class that you were teaching math in. The two of you played me worse than I play my violin. You knew I didn't understand the math you were teaching, and your wife knew that I didn't know my multiplication and couldn't do 5th grade math, but that didn't stop you from humiliating me several times throughout that school year. You're a math specialist!! You didn't see anything odd about an 11th grader who didn't know multiplication or 5th grade math? You didn't see me playing in my hair during lessons as a way to keep me focused and from crying because I was lost? HOW?? To this day, I dread any kind of math test, because I remember you saying I couldn't pass if my life depended on it. So, this April, I will take a math test in your honor. Here's hoping that at last, I can prove you wrong!
Dear C: Yeah, thanks for talking to me like I'm some kind of stupid. Thanks for making sure I never fit in with the staff this year. Thanks for leaving me so upset I was throwing up this summer. Thanks for making me feel so low, worthless, and like I couldn't do my job to the point R had to come along and talk to me and remind me that I am competent and that I can do my job, and that I'm not stupid. You might have a degree in Art Education, but I hope you NEVER get a job teaching. Your students would need psychiatric care after you got done with them! By the way, R hired me again this year. I'm working with the CIT program.
Dear Dr. G: ADA is not an option, it's the law. When you step down as head of the dept. this year, I'm going to be so glad. You teach using a "my way or the highway" method, which does not always reach students with different learning styles. You weren't much help when I tried to talk to you in your office. Quite frankly, maybe you should retire.
Dear Mrs. F: Sorry that cancer took you, you made elementary school survivable. You tried to get the other kids to include me, and when my dad was arrested, you did everything you could to help me. I know it must have killed you that by the time you got to me, I'd already decided that being alone was less painful, and that I didn't need people my own age. Thanks for being my friend anyway.
Dear Ms. V: You got me through middle school. I would have been so lost without you. I didn't fit in with kids my own age, 2 of my core-subject teachers thought I was a waste of space, it took me months to figure out how to open my locker, and the guidance counselor usually escorted me to class, because she'd find me lost someplace in the building. You spent extra time with me outside of class to teach me note-reading. You taught me that it's ok to trust people, and you were right, there was something going on at home I couldn't talk about, even to you. My dad had been arrested the year before for child molestation. Guess who the victim was. Thank you for getting me to look at myself as something other than a screwup. You kept me from killing myself in 7th grade, though you probably didn't know I was thinking about it. Thanks for telling me that I can be whatever I want to be. I'm in college now, because you gave me the confidence to go for it. I know when you quit our district, you didn't think you'd made much of a difference. Oh, you did. You just don't know how big of a difference. Of all of my music teachers, you made the biggest difference. You laid the groundwork that the ones that had me after you were able to build on. If it hadn't been for you, I'd most likely not have continued with my music. You're a great teacher, and don't let whoever you have now tell you otherwise. Sometimes, you just don't see what the seeds you planted grow up into.
Dear Mrs. M: Thanks for being a good tour guide for several months. Thanks for making sure I had lunch on days that I didn't have anything to eat. Thanks for helping me learn how to open my locker. Thanks for checking up on me throughout that year. I'd still most likely be wandering around that building lost had it not been for you.
Dear Ms. C: I know you're dead now. Too bad. You were a great teacher. You used to bring me books from your own private collection. You knew my spelling was bad, and you tried to help me with it, even buying me a book about how to spell. I loved it, right up until it was stolen. Thanks for staying in touch with me throughout that first semester of high school. I was so ticked when my backpack with that book and your address were stolen. I still miss you a lot. By the way, I'm a double major in Music and History Education with a minor in English Education. You won. I'll try not to let you down.
Dear Mrs. P: Thanks for believing in me no matter what. You said once recently you hoped you had made a difference in my life. You did. I couldn't figure out how to explain it in the e-mail back to you, but you made a huge difference. You still do.
Dear Mr. S: Thanks for putting up with me and giving me the skills to be a better musician and teacher. You were the cap-stone of Ms. V and Mrs. P's work on me. Thanks for not laughing at me when my locker wouldn't open and for letting me teach myself new instruments, and not saying anything when I knew that the way I explained it wasn't how you'd have done it. Thanks for being more of a father to me than my actual father.
Dear R: Thanks for being understanding right after my diagnosis and helping me figure out who I needed to talk to. Thanks for not laughing at me trying to steer a horse when I couldn't remember right from left (or if you did laugh, you didn't do it in front of the entire staff), or being upset with me because I couldn't remember something. I know there were times you wanted to pound your head against a wall after dealing with some of these issues and I didn't know why I was having them. Thanks for being a great boss, and later, friend.
Dear Dr. R: Thanks for being really nice about the LD thing. Not all profs are as understanding as you, and actually consider me to be a pain in the rear because of my LDs. Thanks for teaching me in a different way, even though it is more work for you. I think I might stand a chance in the department because of you. Here's to another... I don't know, I can't count, so until I graduate, you're stuck with me!
Edited by squeakymonster on April 11 2012 05:48 PM
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
Dear Mrs S.
Thanks for making me the emotional wreck i am today, you approach to beating me and calling me names everyday because i couldnt tell time and count was such a big help to me, im now 20 and thanks to you i spend most my days crying and screaming at myself.
Dear Teachers of my high school
Thanks for letting the kids beat me down everyday of school, kicking me out of math class and shoving me in a mentor team, thanks to your inappropriate teaching and beatings i grew up in the mentor crew eating pizza, chippies and sweets.
My highlight of high school was the day i left and even though it was hard, i now live in a bedroom full of wonderful animals who don't beat me when i get things wrong.
Thanks to my History teacher in Fairwater..Mr Stroud..
He knew that I was in remedial sets for maths, yet told me not to worry, History has got nothing too do with Maths..I had a real desire too learn in his classes, even too the point that I could argue a logical constructive argument and I would regularly come top of the class..
Joe 90 as we called her...
The vilest most evil spirited woman I have ever known..my Math teacher...no help, used too call me stupid or thick..and then wondered why I sat at the rear of the class with headphones in..thanks for all your help and support..you evil bitch!!
And being told that I would get nowhere in life, and would probably be in prison..!!!
Well......I'm the ONLY kid from that school to have become a Royal Engineer EOD specialist..(BOMB DISPOSAL) AND I'm now a serving Police Officer on the local force.....I took great pleasure turning up at the school 2 weeks ago when one of the kids had brought in a hand grenade to play with...
Looked a teacher in the eye, one who never had any faith in me ..
"REMEMBER ME, YOU TOLD ME I WOULD END UP IN PRISON....FUNNY HOW LIFE TURNS OUT!"
What a brilliant thread! I've got a few to 'thank' but it's getting late here, so I'll make a start with mine and add some more when I've got the time.
To my secondary school maths teacher.
You were okay. It was the 60s and no-one had heard of dyslexia, never mind dyscalculia, so you didn't know any better. You could have made my life hell. As it was, whilst standing in line waiting to go into the classroom, I used to shake with fear...but that was because of the maths rather than you. You didn't pick me out for ridicule and you didn't pick me out to write on the blackboard, but just treated me as a lower than average student who will probably get it eventually. I was glad of that, as it enabled me to work more to my own pace and cover my tracks. However, I'll never forget the time you picked on a boy who was even worse than me. I'm ashamed to say that I was so grateful it wasn't me that was ridiculed in front of the class that day.
Thank you for not making things worse.
To my secondary school art teacher.
Thank you for being such a fantastic art teacher. You recognised my talent and love for art right from the first class, encouraged me in every way possible, made sure I understood the principles of perspective and took the time to give me a thorough and considered critique of my work. You got me a scholarship to art school when I was 14, but my parents wouldn't let me take it. But I did get into art college when I left school.
You're probably not around any more, as that was in the 60s, but I just wanted you to know that although it took me a very long time (after lots of dead-end jobs), I eventually became a graphic designer, took my City & Guilds Photography then went on to university for media arts and visual arts, ending up as a self-employed artist, illustrator & photographer.
Thank you for believing in me when no-one else did, and I hope you know (wherever you are) what an amazing teacher you were.
Edited by HappyFoxy on April 24 2012 01:23 AM
Dear Mrs. G,
You are one sorry excuse for a human being. You should have never been a boss, let alone live! I have a learning disabiltiy, but that didn't stop me from doing my job-and for what? 90 fricking cents a pickup! I'm glad you fired me-you made my life a living hell for several months.
Calling your employees-even for the slightest change-at all hours in the night, that's bullying! Then, you make yourself the victim when someone had the balls to stand up to you! Mrs. G, I don't know what you call it, but I call it karma. And karma is a bigger bitch than you!
Any employees that are left are too afraid to leave because of you. How dare you treat your employees like their worthless human beings.
Me? I'm doing just fine. I made $80 in one day, more than I ever have in two weeks of working for a bitch such as you. I got a new job teaching people how to knit-and that's what keeps me sane!
I hope when you meet your maker, he sends you to where you belong. There's a special place in hell for the schoolyard bully.
HappyFoxy, I was just asking my Art professor (only a half hour ago) how difficult it is to get into the Masters program for art. He says it's very competitive. You must be a great artist to make it in such a competitive field. - jus'
Dear D: Like Dr. R, you're stuck with me until I graduate, whenever that is. Thanks for helping me get ready for the MTTC. For the first time in a long time, I actually almost felt confident in my math. Thanks for helping me deal with Dr. G when he tried to force me to turn over my LD diagnosis to him, making sure I'm not getting in over my head trying to earn degrees to find work when I'm done, and listening to me.
Dear Ms. C: I was thinking about you today. I'm almost done with my history program, I only have three more classes to go. Like you, Ruffles, I work at camp. My name there is Bear. this year, my boss has put me in as CIT/WIT Director. I wish you were still alive so I could write you and tell you. I wish you could see how far I've come from that kid who was just as happy to sit alone at lunch or hide in your room. I'm still not the most out-going, but I'm working on it. Making me do a speech at 8th grade promotion definitely blasted me out of my shell. My high school orchestra teacher doesn't believe me when I say I used to be shy, and neither does my boss. Thanks for never making fun of my bad spelling (even though you did buy me a book on how to spell for an 8th grade promotion gift), it's tied to my dyscalculia. Ironic, isn't it, I'm an English minor who can't spell.
Dear Mrs. F: I saw a commercial for the CACC that you're still there. You have a Masters in Special Ed. You taught Special Ed. HOW is it, that when an 11th grader didn't know their multiplication tables, alarms didn't sound? Part of me wants to e-mail you and tell you, and thank you for missing the signs and for telling me that if I *only* would try harder, I could learn them, part of me wants to just let it go, knowing that not much is known about dyscalculia. You may have a lot of qualities that make you a wonderful teacher, and I did learn a lot from you, but you and your husband dropped the ball on me. By the way, I'm still working on getting my teaching degree. One of the biggest hold ups has been the MTTC, with my learning disability going undiagnosed for so long.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
Dear Mrs. H,
I'm sorry you had to waste all your breath yelling at me to "get with the program" and making all those phone calls trying to get me held back, only to have my mom get you fired. Yeah karma's a b**** ain't it...
Dear Mrs. D,
Thannk you so much for being so kind, patient and accepting. It's a shame there aren't more teachers like you in the world. Not only did you help with my math skills but my confidence and self image. Unlike most teachers you taught me that it's ok to do poorly sometimes and that you can't always succeed. Whenever I'm in a sticky situation, I think to myself, "what would mrs. D do?" or "be the person Mrs. D would want you to be". My goals for the future are to try hard, succeed and be the kind of wonderful person that you are.
Equations are the devil's sentences. -Stephen Colbert
Dear Mr. A - Thank you! Thank you for "knowing" that something was wrong. Thank you for the time you spent with me. Thank you for never losing patience with me. Thank you for the hours at your blackboard, for the failed tests you let me re-work at home, and the words of encouragement. Thank you for always reminding me that I was smart and talented. Thank you for the C in Chemistry - when any other teacher would have failed me and told me to give it up. I will never forget you.
Dear Mrs. A (Geometry teacher) - Thank you for knowing that my smart ass behavior was just to cover my horrible embarrassment. You tried - you really did. You were patient, even when I was being a typical teenager! Most of all, thank you for telling me I would fail the final semester of Geometry and encouraging me to take Consumer Math. You were right - I have never really used advanced Geometry - but I use my Consumer Math everyday. You gave me the opportunity to be succesful in a Math class - that meant a lot.
Dear Mr. G (Jr. High/High School Counselor) - I forgive you. It has taken me a long time, but I want you to know that I am over it. For 6 years you told me that I would fail. I would never go to medical school, I would never be a doctor, I would be laughed out of college. Never mind the fact that I got accepted to two pre-med programs and that the Army offered me a full-ride - you convinced me that I was too stupid. I want to tell you that you ruined my life - but I won't give you the satisfaction. In spite of everything, I forgive you. If there is one thing I would like to tell you it would be that I hope you learn something from me. I hope that you learn that the words of a teacher are "make or break" for some students. I also hope that you learn that, just because you are frustrated, it doesn't give you the right to take it out on a child.
I still don't understand why you made me sit for hours counting coins even when you saw I was completely distressed and in tears. Maybe you didn't accept your daughter was not as smart as you expected her to be... Or did I have to achieve what you didn't do ? Anyway, I would have been a lot easier for me if I felt I was accepted for who I am. I know you that you love me and didn't mean to hurt me. But it does all the same.
I love you too not because of what you have done to me but because you are my dad.
Mum and Dad, I wish you would have done something when you saw that I was crying almost each day over my math homeworks instead of thinking I was just being silly. No, I was not just "bad at maths" and I'm sorry to tell you that all the extra lessons you paid for weren't really what I needed and didn't help me a lot. I know from experience that there is so few help for dyscalculic people in this country if even the specialists are not really informed... I remember seeing someone once when I was little but I have absolutely no idea of what we did. I wish you had investigated further, it would have prevented me from all hurtful undiagnosed years in school.
Thank you for helping me with my math and physics homeworks (among other things) without never ever judging me and for doing it with so much love. Thank you for raising my self-esteem. Part of what I am today is because of you. I wish you were here to see it. I miss you so much.