45 years later… you learn the troubled 10 year old, with low self-esteem and other issues, has blossomed into a most amazing, caring, giving person who is made Chief of Police, all because someone cared 45 years ago.
Subject: THANK YOU
Hello Mrs. A., I owe you a debt that I can never repay. You were my teacher from [school name omitted]. Prior to this I had been shunted through various “special education classes” where very little real effort was made to educate. The program seemed designed to remove problem children from the “normal” students. I spent years in that emotionally and intellectually toxic atmosphere. Many of my classmates were profoundly challenged. You can imagine what effect this had on a young child’s self-esteem.
Everyone had given up on me. Most importantly I had given up on myself. There was no hope, until a bright, lovely and enthusiastic young teacher entered my life. You recognized potential seen by no one else. With indefinite patience you pushed and prodded me. Within a year I was back on track.
Today I have a Master’s Degree and I’m considering a Doctoral program. This Thursday, March 28, I will be promoted to Chief of the Police Department. The ceremony will be held at [omitted]. Refreshments, sandwiches, etc., will be served immediately following the ceremony. I would be honored if you could attend.
I shudder to think of what my life would have been if not for you. Words fail to convey my sense of gratitude but words are all I have. THANK YOU!
This powerful letter was received by Marsha A., who has been a friend of our family since before I was born. She graciously gave me permission to share it here to illustrate the profound difference that one person can make in the life of a child. You don’t need to be a teacher or parent to reach out and show a child that he or she matters. We’ve all got a little Marsha in us!