For 180 days out of the year we were together in a high school classroom full of 30 to 50 other kids. Each day I walked into your class with a smile on my face, wondering what today had in store for me. Each day you stood in front of the class and shared your knowledge with us. You simply thought you were doing your job as a teacher, but what you didn’t know is you were saving my life.

You might be wondering how, by simply doing your job, you could save someone. You gave me the chance to find my purpose and see beyond the darkness. The teachers who knew what I was going through stuck by my side through it all. And even those that didn’t showed a level of care and compassion that even now I find remarkable.

There were days when I felt as though the world was crumbling beneath my feet, and without even knowing, you were the ones who pulled me out. In those days your class would bring a smile to my dull face, by engaging my mind in an interesting lesson that distracted me from my own thoughts, or noticing that the day wasn’t the best for me and offering a hug or an ear.

Some might argue that this is all part of your job, but to me each of you went above and beyond. Nowhere in a teacher’s contract does it say you must offer your whole heart to every student and devote your own time to their personal needs. You listened to me during the few hours of free time in your day, ignoring the piles of work sitting on your desk. One teacher hugged me in tears on the last day of school, saying to call if I ever needed anything. One teacher asked me how I was “really” doing everyday. You understood me.

My teachers helped give me purpose. I would not be here if it weren’t for your support. You made me feel like I was worth something. You saw beyond the cloud of grief and my struggles, even when I didn’t believe you. You viewed me as a person, not just as another name on your roster.

For that I want to say thank you.


Comments

10
  • D. Grattan

    I’m so glad you’re here, Kayla! And you are most certainly a powerful writer. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m just a substitute teacher, but I do my best to make my classroom a safe place, I try to reach their hearts & try to give back as much joy as I get from them every single day.

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    • You Matter

      D. Grattan, thank you very much for sharing that you try to make the classroom safe as well as reach your students hearts! Thank you for all that you do!

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  • Elizabeth Strickland

    I feel like all my friends hate me in school they ditch me and toss away my work or erase my name and put theres. When I told my teacher they didn’t believe me. I feel like no one cares…..

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    • You Matter

      Thank you for writing to us and I am sorry to hear you are in so much emotional pain right now. Our page is not meant for any type of crisis intervention however the Lifeline crisis counselors are here for you any time day or night, every day of the year at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). We care.

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  • Elizabeth Strickland

    What do I do? I have lost hope

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    • You Matter

      Thank you for reaching out on our page, We are sorry to hear you are hurting Elizabeth although this page is not meant for any type of crisis intervention. The Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), day and night.

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  • Taylah sUtherland

    hi, I know this may be a bit off topic, but in the town that live in, we have lost 17 teens to suicide in the last 2 years. I am not looking for sympathy, I am asking if anyone knows a way to get suicide awareness out into the open, I just need some direction, if anyone knows how, please let me know, I just want to put a stop to this

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    • You Matter

      Hi Taylah, thank you for reaching out to us and we can sense your concern for your fellow peers and neighbors. Have you heard of the Suicide Prevention Ribbon Color? Most people think it’s yellow but it’s purple and teal-the information for this is on the website, under “Get Involved-> Promote->Awareness Ribbons. The ribbon serves as a reminder that suicide is an issue we need to talk about. Download a ribbon avatar on the webpage, http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetInvolved/AwarenessRibbons

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  • no body

    no body no body

    Reply Author

    I have a question ?
    …..
    i feel really sad but i don;t know why …and i feel like crying every time i come to school ..my school ok …. i don;t know why my life is ok …..

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    • You Matter

      Thank you for reaching out to us here at The Lifeline, our crisis counselors are here for you any time day or night, every day of the year at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Don’t hesitate to call us! If you are more comfortable chatting online please use the private link below to chat with a Lifeline counselor. We want to help you. Your life matters!
      http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx
      You are somebody, please reach out!!

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