Dear Mrs. Wiersema,
Today, we're thanking teachers we've had in the past, and I have a couple reasons to thank you.
Thing One: You're the first English or Reading teacher to challenge me. Ever. Before, the class was just easy, I didn't think about it. I didn't really like to write things because nobody before (and seldom after) had ever caused me to actually actively write a second draft. Before, it was just Rough Draft then Spellcheck, and then Final Draft.
Thing Two: You're classes were interesting. We tried to fill lexical gaps for common names for incest relationships in mythology. When we read you passed out suckers. You gave us good books, and when they weren't good, you didn't ask us to like them. You gave us riddles every day, and it challenged us, even if nothing else did.
Thing Three: Even if I didn't understand why we were doing something in class, and I didn't know why it was so English, it was still really cool. I'm talking about the commercials. Now I understand why you did it, thinking back. But then? I just thought that you did it for fun. Only for that.
Thing Four: The best way to learn is if you think you're just having fun. That's when it sticks with you, and that's what you remember when you think back to it.
Thing Five: If books are still trees, it IS somewhat okay to have a small forest. Instead of just getting books, you asked us what we wanted to read. And you got that. And then maybe a few other things that nobody had quite heard of yet.
Thing Six: If you hadn't come in when you did... I would have been bored with all the books in the library. I had already read most of the really good ones, and then you doubled it. Over and over again, and it was like standing in the rain. (Though if you are standing in the rain of books, you might want to go inside and lay down.)
Thing Seven: I really hope retirement isn't as boring for you as it looks to me...