Letter to My Third-Grade Teacher

Dear Mrs. Zunker,

I found this old photograph of my third grade class, and it brought back so many memories of you and Roger Sherman Elementary School.  That’s me, in the second row, third from the left, with the overbite (it’s been fixed since then, in case you’re interested).

My third-grade self with my brother

You taught me many valuable lessons, and I never thanked you.  You taught me never to sit in front of Christopher Rappolt when I was wearing pigtails, never to set my milk carton on the radiator unless I was fond of the taste of warm wax, and never ever to be the tail in Crack-the-Whip.  As valuable as those lessons proved to be, it was what you didn’t say that taught me more.  You never spoke to any of us with an angry voice.  You never corrected us in front of others or made us an example to the whole class.  You never made us feel stupid, even if our answers were wrong.  You never punished us for youthful transgressions but taught us to make better choices.  When I became a teacher, I thought back to that third grade class and the lessons I learned about treating others, taking responsibility for my actions, finding wonder and beauty in even the seemingly ordinary things of life, and always striving to be the best that I could be.  I hope that my life reflected that teaching to my own students.  Thank you, Mrs. Zunker, for being my teacher.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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4 Responses to Letter to My Third-Grade Teacher

  1. elaine says:

    I enjoyed meeting you in the Thai Chi class today and our walk on the beach. Welcome to VA Beach. I thoroughly enjoyed your memory’s about your 3rd grade teacher. I think many people can relate to your story, and also to the sardonic tale about your math teacher. Elaine

  2. mypajamadays says:

    I loved this letter! What a great post – I wonder what I would say to Mrs. D’Ann Johnson…

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