Teachers are much more than individuals who are employed by educational institutions to impart knowledge related to various subjects of study. They are motivators, mentors, and guides who want nothing but the best for their students, in both the short and long terms. In return for the efforts that they put in to educate and motivate children, teachers tend to want very little. Apart from giving them the utmost in terms of respect, as a student or a parent of a student, what you can do is show your appreciation for them by thanking them.
In this post, we’ll talk about the tips you need to keep in mind for writing a teacher thank you note that manages to put your gratitude for your favorite teacher into words. So, have your pens and paper ready!
Different sections from beginning to end
1. Address your teacher properly
If you want your thank you note to really connect to your teacher on an emotional level, your first point of concern should be how you address him/her. As it’s a thank you note and not an application for a leave, you could do without being excessively formal such as ‘Respected Sir/Madam’. However, don’t skip the formalities altogether. Go for something like ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and it’s sure to strike a chord with your favorite teacher.
If you happen to be a parent, it may so happen that your child’s favorite teacher is younger than you. Even if that is the case, don’t start the note by directly addressing the teacher using his/her first name. While it’s definitely not a sign of disrespect, it’s not one of absolute respect either. Remember, thankfulness begins with respect and the word ‘Dear’ expresses not just respect, but a certain degree of love and affection as well. So, go for ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ at the beginning of the note.
2. Talk about your first impressions
‘The first impression is the last impression’ is an old saying, but it doesn’t always ring true when you talk about teachers. Some teachers come across as excessively strict during initial interactions, but with more interactions, you discover that they are actually much kinder and more compassionate than you thought they were. Similarly, some teachers come off as extremely lenient and kind across the first few meetings, but ones who aren’t afraid to show their stricter side if and/or when required.
So after you begin proceedings with a ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, talk about the first encounter with the teacher and be honest about it. Just because it’s a teacher thank you note doesn’t mean that you can’t be honest. In fact, honesty is an integral part of thankfulness. For example, if you were a naughty kid when you first met your favorite teacher, you might have gotten a hefty scolding.
‘I remember the first time I met you.’; this is a great way to start the main body of the thank you note. Follow it up by describing the incident as you remember it from your perspective and how it made you feel. If you’re a parent writing a thank you note, feel free to skip this part.
3. Express how learning from your teacher impacted you
After you’ve managed to pen down the first impressions you had of your teacher, talk about what it was like to attend his/her classes and how they impacted and influenced you, both academically and as a person. Great teachers often innovate ways of teaching to ensure that their students learn core concepts of different subjects so well that it becomes easy for them to tackle concepts that are more advanced and require a great understanding of the basics. The best teachers also embody qualities such as compassion, empathy, love, and kindness – virtues that can help students become the best versions of themselves in the future.
Mention all these things in the third section of your teacher thank you note. Something along the lines of ‘Your classes were never boring and I still carry what I learned from them deep within my heart’ should work wonders. In this section, parents can mention how they witnessed improvements in their children’s academic performances and general outlook towards life due to the efforts of the teacher.
4. Talk about the role your teacher played to help you be successful
It’s a well-known fact that teachers are the biggest influencers on the minds of young ones and students rely heavily on the values they impart to go on and become successful in their own lives. Remember, before there’s a doctor, a lawyer, and an engineer, there’s a teacher. Even a successful sportsperson today was one day an amateur who relied heavily on the knowledge and deep wisdom shared by his/her coaches, who were nothing but teachers in essence.
If you’ve successfully pursued your profession of choice and become good at it, let your favorite teacher know about it and also talk about how his/her role mattered. Nothing makes a teacher more proud than to know that a student has managed to give meaningful shape and form to his/her life. In this section, you could say something like ‘Today, I have everything I ever needed and wanted and it’s all thanks to you because of how you taught us to face life and its many challenges.’
5. Say that you’ll share with others what your teacher shared with you
Your favorite teacher’s knowledge and wisdom wouldn’t have counted for much had he/she chosen to keep it confined to the self, would it? It’s only possible for one’s knowledge to have an impact on the people around if one chooses to share it and that’s what your teacher did. Similarly, you can share this knowledge with others and who knows, it might help them infinitely to become better people, right? On many occasions, teachers also provide valuable, actionable tips that students can use to become more efficient in their ways.
‘I’ll always remember how you gave sound advice to my classmates and me to become better at whatever we do and I’ll be sure to share it with others so that they too can learn what I learned from you.’ If your teacher reads something of this nature, it’ll be sure to put a gleaming smile on his/her face as it’s a really happy feeling to know that someone appreciates the lessons you taught and wants to pass the same lessons on to others.
6. Wish your teacher the very best for the future
We’ve come to the very end of the teacher thank you note and it’s time to wrap things up by wishing your teacher the very best for all the times to come. Life is an uncertain journey and it’s only through sharing warmth and positivity that we can spread the message of optimism around and when it comes to your favorite teacher, you should end your note on a positive note.
‘I hope you and your family stay happy, healthy, and prosperous for all times to come’ is a great way of pulling the curtains down on your thank you note in a humble and caring way. Just like you carried with you everything your favorite teacher taught you, your good wishes too will be carried by your teacher. At the very end, mention your name and that’s it; your thank you note is ready.
Okay, so we’ve covered six sections to include in your teacher thank you note, which should be enough to showcase your appreciation for the teacher who inspired you the most in life. However, if you’re still feeling confused, let’s end this post with two sample thank you notes; one for students and one for parents.
Sample thank you note for students
‘Dear Mrs. Smith
The first time we met, I was a very shy kid who rarely spoke with anybody and I became even more afraid of speaking to you as you were so frightening. But as time passed and I did more Chemistry classes with you, you became not just one of my favorite teachers, but also one of my favorite human beings. Your dedication towards your students was unparalleled and today, I can say that you are the one who inspired me to be 100% committed to everything that I set out to achieve. Thanks to you, I was inspired to be a chemistry teacher, and today, I teach at my local high school and I hope my students like me as I liked you. I thank you for being there for me and I wish the very best for you and your family.’
Sample thank you note for parents
‘Dear Mrs. Smith
Our boy was very weak in his studies and only wanted to play. But then you intervened and we can’t be thankful enough. You showed him that it was definitely possible to maintain a fine balance between work and play and it pleases us to say that today, he is as good in studies as he is in sports. We believe the world needs more teachers like you and we hope that our boy continues to learn more and more from you with each passing day.’