Congratulations, you made it through High School! You have completed a large part of your academic career and if yours was anything like mine, it came with some challenges. But, lucky for you and me both, we had some great people in our corners. People who taught, listened, rewarded, and disciplined. People who shaped us for the rest of our lives and left lasting impacts.
Pause for a second—trust me, I remember how exciting the summer after graduation is. I also know how busy it gets with planning and soaking up as much time with your family and friends as possible before heading off to your next step in the fall. But, I encourage you to pause and take a second to reflect on your entire high school experience. Think of the people who made your journey what it was. Maybe someone helped you along the way? Maybe someone tried to hinder you? But, clearly, they didn’t succeed because you earned that diploma and crossed that stage.
Use this time of reflection to think of each of your teachers and mentors and consider those who truly helped get you to where you are. And there is SOMEONE, most likely multiple someones, because high school is tough, and to finish, there was someone in your corner that helped get you there and cared enough to do so.
Put that gratitude into action—whether it be writing a thank you note, buying them a thoughtful gift, going to them in person to say thank you, or any other way you choose to show them your gratitude. These teachers spend countless hours making lesson plans, providing feedback, worrying about their students, and often advocating on your behalf with the administration. There is so much that your teachers do, aside from what you see in those 50-minute class periods, that you have no idea about. They care for you, they want to see you succeed, and they celebrate your wins.
Take the time out to say thank you. I guarantee whatever time you set aside to tell them thank you has nothing on the amount of time they spent on you over the years. But, I also guarantee that it will mean the world to them to hear how they impacted you. While they don’t do what they do to gain your gratitude, they certainly enjoy knowing their efforts are appreciated. They influenced your life—the least you can do is influence their day in a positive way by saying thank you.
Apply the best lessons to your future—teachers have lesson plans, sure. They teach you the criteria needed to pass the current grade you’re in. But, the best teachers will teach you SO much more than that. They will teach you ways to improve as a person, not just as a student. Consider some of the best qualities in those teachers or mentors that you admire and try to imitate those in your life and your interactions with others. Apply their best lessons to your future.