I was talking to my therapist about how I love teaching and why I’m so committed to it. During that convo, my first grade teacher, Ms. Duke came up and I had nothing but great things to say about her. I always knew I gave Ms. Duke and my class a hard time but she never made me feel less than because of that. She always made me feel like she cared about me despite my choices.
To be clear, she was the ONLY teacher in my grade school experience that made me feel like that (still crazy to me. I’ll save that convo for another day).
So my therapist follows up with a great question - “Have you ever reached out to her to share how you feel about her and that you still remember her warmth 20 years later?” …… I was like…… naw. Lol.
Never thought about that all 😭
but I honestly don’t even know her first name to look her up even if wanted to.
So, an open letter came to mind. Just seemed like a fun way to give her flowers from afar.
With all of that said, here’s the letter:
Hey Ms. Dukeee!
You probably remember me as Sierra Rogers, I’d love to know what’s going through your mind at the thought of me LOL! Despite time and memories, your impact is still doing it’s thing! You have a heart of gold and I'd say you were so thoughtful and intentional like Ms. Honey from Matilda <3
I felt like you needed to know how important you were during my grade school years. My first year at Berry you were my teacher and I can honestly say I never met another like you. Your warmth was felt. Even though I was always running my mouth and making things difficult, you handled me with grace. At the time, I wanted to do better because of you. Our teacher-student relationship was one of my first of many examples of what love can do. So, thank you. You a real one. I feel like I should also let you know I’m now a third grade teacher and in my fifth year of teaching. I know, it's crazy, and I absolutely love it. I pray I help other kids feel something to similar to the way I felt in your classroom. You are greatly appreciated Ms. Duke!
Sierra Johnson (Rogers)