A Valentine For My Second-Grade Teacher


Because today is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share a story about my all-time favorite teacher, Mrs. Ryeder (name changed to protect the wonderful).

Mrs. Ryeder,

You may not remember me. I was in your second-grade class a long time ago. I’ve had a lot of teachers since then. In fact, you may be amused to hear that I still am in school, nearly twenty years later.  Out of all the teachers and professors I’ve had in my entire educational career, you remain the pinnacle. You were the teacher that everyone wanted for second grade. After all, you were responsible for the stick horse rodeo in the spring, and you were loud in the hallways and seemed like you were always smiling. I remember you being very tall, but maybe I’m remembering how short I actually was.

I was really into flying squirrels and hockey that year I was in your class. Almost every journal entry had either one or both of those two things involved. When one of the boys in our class moved away, I remember you taught us how to spell the state he was moving to, and to this day I still have to do it in the singsongy way you taught us. (In case you don’t remember, he moved to Mississippi.)

You came into my life at a pretty difficult time. My parents were getting a divorce, and I’ve been told I may not have been the most pleasant kid for a while. One day (it must have been around winter break), you held me back from lunch and talked to me about divorce. The things you said may have been pretty standard things to say to a kid going through a divorce, and I don’t remember exactly what you said, but I remember that you took the time to show me you cared.

I still think of you: your compassion, your kindness, and your larger-than-life personality. I hope you know that you made a difference in my life.

Affectionately,

A former student

If you sent a Valentine to one of your former teachers, who would it be? What would it say?

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