I was your student five years ago.
Five years is a long time. So many things change, and that means you have seen four grades since I spent time in your classroom.
Since I sat in your classroom, I have met new people, had so many new experiences, and have had downfalls and uphill challenges. I have also had lots of exciting times, joyful moments and victorious achievements.
Yet amidst it all, as soon as I heard about the Chinuch Awards, my mind instantly went back to you, and the time spent within those four classroom walls.
How do you know that your teacher was special? When you don’t only remember the lessons she taught you five years later, but the warmth that she had, and the genuine interest and care she showed. That is true of you, and I feel so very lucky to have had you as a teacher for that one year.
High school was not an easy time for me, and the usual teenage ups and downs did not skip me. There were classes I worked hard in and still saw no results. There were classes I barely paid attention to and still passed with flying colors. Your class stood out amongst them because I worked hard, and I saw the results with my own eyes, allowing me to graduate with something much more valuable than a good grade.
Not only were you a great teacher and a caring adult, you were a role model for me as a frum woman and mother. Seeing you in the hallway, talking with your own children who attended high school themselves, let me see you in another light, and left me with no doubt that you gave it your all in everything you did. You lived and breathed Torah and Chassidus, in the way you dressed, the way you acted, the way you brought examples from so many different sources. You taught me that Torah and Chassidus can apply to each part of my life, especially the parts that did not seem to come from a place of Torah.
If one day I find myself leaning towards the classroom myself and taking up the arduous career of being a teacher, I hope that I can be a teacher to my students the way you were to me. A teacher who sees her students’ potential, and lifts them up to reach it. A teacher who looks into her student’s eyes and knows how to recognize pain and honesty. A teacher who lives her entire life, knowing that trusting eyes are on her, and never giving them a moment to doubt her integrity and dedication to them, and her Chassidish way of life.
Thank you for being such an incredible teacher, and for being the teacher that immediately comes to mind when I think of a teacher who deserves the Chinuch Award.
A Former Student*
*Names withheld for privacy reasons
Nominate a teacher that you know who deserves this award: MyMef.org/ThankYou. Nominations close on Friday, May 5th!