OPINION: Our readers are writing letters to someone special in their lives. LYNNE LONG thanks a special teacher for encouragement and inspiration.
Dear Miss Collins,
When I left your class as a 12-year-old I had no way of expressing my gratitude or my love for you. I was not then aware of the significance that those two years as your student would have in my life.
Now, 50 years later, I have the opportunity to thank you.
After attending five primary schools before coming to your class, I remember feeling a real sense of belonging. For the first time in my life, I felt that someone understood me, cared about what happened to me and perhaps even liked me.
You encouraged my academic development and you encouraged my love of music. You gave me responsibilities in the classroom that helped me to feel good about myself.
Looking back now, I can see that you made a real effort to keep me out of trouble.
My family was poor, but somehow I seemed to be included in those class trips that Mum told me we couldn't afford. I don't have many school photos but I treasure the two I have from Shirley Intermediate when you were my teacher.
In the corner of each of these photos is a circled letter 'A'.
I wonder who you gave the sample copy 'B' to.
At the age of 38, I decided to train as a teacher myself and the students I have taught have mostly been aged 11 and 12. I only hope that I have had the same impact on at least one of my students that you had on me.
Thank you, Miss Collins.
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