A Teacher Who Gets It

June 20, 2012

We all have a teacher who left a lasting impression on us. Mine are Mr. Watson, my 8th grade science teacher, and Mr. Allen, my high school fine arts teacher. These guys got it. They knew how to inspire and bring the best out of students. They knew how to teach and how to lead us down paths so we could make our own discoveries and have that feeling of revelation that comes when you really learn something new. These were great men, and, I think, rare in this age. Well, I think I’ve met a teacher who has them both beat. The following is a letter my 11 year-old son’s teacher gave to him on the last day of school:

Dear Malek,

It has been such a pleasure to have you in my class this year. I know you probably think that I was so hard on you at times but I want you to know it is because I want nothing more than to see you succeed. You are an exceptionally smart student and your curiosity to learn is so refreshing. Continue to see out all the information in the world and continue to read. I really believe that you can be an author or a comic writer like your father! I would be so honored to say, “That Malek Ciaramella, he was my student!” one day! Or maybe I will buy the Legos that you design for my own kids 🙂   [Malek wants to work for Lego]

When you go to middle school, I don’t ever want you to doubt yourself or the things that you enjoy. Remember everyone is different and special in his/her own way and don’t ever feel pressured to be just like everyone else. Hold true to the things that you believe and speak up for yourself in a calm and mature way. You are an exceptional student and I don’t want you to forget that as you go to middle school. Be the best that you can be.

Remember that hard work does not mean that all the fun goes out the window, you just need to find a nice balance. There is a time for fun and there is a time for hard work. I know that this is only the first of many graduations and I know that you can go all the way to a college graduation. There is so much out there for you (you never know, you may be able to visit Italy or Egypt when you grow up!). Remember, the sky is the limit so dream your dreams, set your goals and I guarantee that you will get there. Congratulations Malek, I will miss you so very much!

With all my love,


She wrote one of these personal letters to every kid (22) in her class. I know it touched my son’s heart, and it sure touched mine to know he had a teacher who cared about him so much. Someone give this woman a raise!

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