In those last few hectic days of moving out of my classroom, I opened a desk drawer and found a pile of letters and cards I’d received over the years. There were adorable drawings and words of love from my 3rd graders, and notes from parents who thanked me for my work, and for making a difference in the lives of their child and their family. I sat down and read through them all. I was so grateful for each word someone had taken the time to write.
When you’re a teacher, like when you’re a parent, you do your best with each of the children, hoping it’s making an impact. Sometimes you can see the results, but other times you just have to hope that you got the soil ready, planted the right seeds and started the watering and fertilizing for what would become big things later on. But those notes, those helped me to have some idea that what I was doing mattered. Isn’t that what we all want? To know that the things we do with care, love and lots of effort matter to someone? That we matter? Simple words-simple to write, simple to send. And years later, someone looks back at those words and is so grateful to the sender for letting them know “you matter to me.”