Reply to Isabella

Dearest Isabella,

Your column titled “Teachers” from the May issue touched my heart more than you will ever know. I was completely surprised by the dedication, and your kind words have inspired me to share my perspective on the impact students like you have on teachers.

As you stated, “a good teacher makes a student look forward to coming to class every day.” At the same time, a good student makes a teacher look forward to coming to class every day. Students, like teachers, are role models and leave a meaningful impression on their teachers. Often times, students teach teachers more than teachers teach students. Isabella, you taught me more than I could have ever dreamed of teaching you.

First and foremost, you taught me that building relationships with students is more important than any academic lesson: I, too, remember our fun conversations at recess. You taught me to always have fun: remember the fun we had at Camp Hanes and all that fingernail polish we used on the last day of school? You taught me to forget any of my worries or problems, once I came to school: remember how you hugged me every morning as you walked in the door? You taught me that teaching writing is vital: you were inspired to write in 5th grade and have since become a professional writer. You taught me the importance of giving back to the less fortunate: remember all of the presents you personally donated at our class’ Holiday Gift Exchange? You taught me the importance of keeping in touch: remember how you always came back to visit years after our time together? You taught me the importance of inner strength during times of tragedy: you have made your father proud.

It seems like just yesterday that you stood in that long line to meet me at 5th grade Open House in August 2007. With glasses on and a stylish, short haircut you were dressed to impress. Your creativity and quiet curiosity impressed me from the start. As you embark on your senior year of high school, I want you to stand more proudly than ever. It was your hope to be as inspirational to someone else as I was you: consider your hope fulfilled.

I will always love you. Keep in touch,
Katie McGregor
(the former Miss Beavers)