People Shared Things Teachers Did For Them That They'll "Never Forget" And — I Promise You — You Will Cry
We! Don't! Deserve! Teachers!
I think we can all agree that teachers are pretty darn important. Heck, often times, they can have just as big an influence on us as our parents or guardians can!
So, this week, when redditor u/xtra_why asked, "What did that one teacher do to you that you'll never forget?" it was no surprise that many of the responses were marvelously wholesome.
So, here are just a few of the most incredible stories shared:
1. This undivided attention:
"I faked my way through fourth and fifth grade math. I never understood how to do long division, but managed to hide that from the teachers and answer test questions by using reverse multiplication — basically, I'd guess a number and multiply it out and see how close I would get, and keep doing it until I got the answer.
My sixth grade math teacher figured out that I was faking and that I had no idea how to actually divide anything. She had me come in one afternoon to 'help with cleaning the erasers' (all the kids fought for this privilege, so I was thrilled). Instead, she sat me down and tutored me until I grasped the concept.
Bless you, Mrs. Gillespie!"
2. This persistent person:
"At my high school, we had an annual week-long science trip, fully paid for by fundraising. Only four people were selected to go each year. My sophomore year, I was chosen. I knew there was NO WAY I was going to be allowed to go. I had never been out of the state, never been on a single vacation, never been on a plane, and never been away from home for more than 24 hours. My parents were incredibly conservative and immediately said, 'No.'
Well, I had one science teacher who just didn't accept no for an answer. Instead of just giving up and selecting someone else, he called and tried to convince my parents. When that didn't work, he came to my house and had dinner with my family to convince my dad that I would be an asset, and he would be doing me a disservice by not letting me go. He sat and ate my mom's terrible cooking and talked to my parents for over TWO HOURS until he got a 'We'll think about it.' Then, he just kept following up.
I had never had someone in my corner like that before who was willing to go to bat for me like that. He wore them down, they let me go, and it was the best week of my teenage life. I'd never seen the ocean before that trip — 20 years later, I can still recall every detail of that trip. It was a major turning point for me."
3. This generous gesture:
"My physics teacher in high school hosted an annual trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando for 15–20 kids for over a week. He was an incredible teacher who found examples of physics everywhere. He also used to work for Disney prior to teaching.
Since my family was not well-off and I could not afford the trip to Walt Disney World, I declined when he asked me if I was going to join them. He probed a bit and he, somehow, found the funds to have me join them without me even asking him to. I don't know if he pulled school money or if there was a surplus or if it was out of his own pocket, but it was one of my best memories from that school.
I still keep in touch with him 15 years later."
4. This ride home:
"My band teacher drove me home SEVERAL times after the 7 p.m. Jazz Band practice when my Dad was supposed to pick me up (he fell asleep and didn't answer the phone when I tried to call)."
5. This unexpected moment:
"In fifth grade, I had this teacher who was very...gruff. Most of us didn’t like her because she was such a hard-ass. Like, we're talking military-style with discipline and homework completion. She wasn’t mean, but she wasn’t nice either.
That year, I found out my parents were getting a divorce. I showed up to school one day visibly upset, kind of shaky, and had obviously been been crying. She said, “[Insert name], hallway. Now.” I was not in the mood to be scolded, and I knew I was a mess, so I stomped out into the hallway.
She told me she knew what was happening at home, asked me if I was okay, then listened to me sob/break down about how I felt. She gave me a hug and asked if I wanted to spend an hour or so in the library, since she knew I loved books.
It was so unexpectedly kind, and I will never forget it. I found out later that she was so gruff and short with us because she’d been teaching for a long-ass time and, honestly, kids are mean. She had some sort of health condition that left her in pain most of the time and she had to use a cane, which caused her to hunch a bit. Over the years all the meanness of the kids mocking her had made her a little cold, but she really did care about her students."
6. This silent savior:
"My third grade teacher, Mrs. Jones.
My dad had just deserted us and we were suddenly destitute. Mrs. Jones bought my school pictures for the family, and paid my entire lunch bill all year. She never said a word about it to me, I only found out later.
7. This snack provider:
"I had an art teacher in high school who would let me stay in his classroom during lunches. He always gave me half of his sandwich, and other extra food (he would keep a drawer in the classroom stocked with snacks so that I could swing by and grab something between classes, if needed) because he knew I didn't eat much otherwise."
8. This uplifting encouragement:
"I had spent a couple years at a private high school, trying hard to prove myself. Despite doing well academically, I didn’t fit their cookie-cutter mold, so I was looked down on by other students and the administration.
When I told my guidance counselor that I wanted to be pre-med and go to medical school after college, she pretty much told me to 'lower my expectations' because I wouldn’t succeed. Well, at the end of my math class senior year, I ended up in my teacher's office to look at what I had missed on my final. He told me that I had done well, and that I could definitely get a PhD in math if I wanted. That was not what I wanted to do, but when I told him I wanted to be pre-med, he looked at me and, unprompted, said, 'You’re going to do so well with that! I know you will succeed!'
Six years later and I’m halfway through my second year of medical school, his words still ring in my mind."
9. This kind compliment:
"I had a teacher call my mum WHILE she was at work just to tell her I'd written one of the best things he'd ever read as a teacher."
10. This above and beyond act:
"I was around 16 and had just gotten out of an emotionally abusive relationship. I was worried about my ex hurting herself (abuse really fucks with your mind), so I confided in my English teacher. He listened to what I had to say, then secretly got in touch with my parents, school administration, and her school's administration all behind-the-scenes, just to make sure we were both okay.
My parents told me about this a year after graduation. I was really taken back by the fact that he did all of that to make sure we were okay."
11. This unbelievable understanding:
"In sixth grade, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I was caught copying my friend's homework because my dad had a treatment the night before and I was unable to do it — that’s how my teacher learned he had cancer.
Instead of punishing me, she was understanding. Throughout the year, she was so supportive and reassured me that I could submit assignments late, if needed.
About two years later, I saw her again and she asked about my dad. I told her that, sadly, he'd passed, and we cried together. It was so heartfelt, and I realized how much she truly cared."
12. This rule exception:
"My senior year of high school, I was on the wrestling team and I had cut about 30lbs that year — from 170 down to 140.
I happened to have the same math teacher three years in a row, so we really got to know each other. She knew how much weight I had to cut for the season (I told her and it was obvious just from my face). She had a strict no eating in class policy. That'll be important in a minute.
The day after the wrestling season ended, I walked into math class and sat down. She walked over to my desk and put a whole apple pie right in front of me (she knew it was my favorite) and handed me a fork. She said she'd be 'ignoring the no eating rule for exactly one day.'
I finished that whole pie in maybe 30 minutes. I'll never forget that. It absolutely made my day!"
13. This unexpected gift:
"Not a teacher, but my school's bus driver.
I lived in a fairly rich town, but my family’s financial status was not the best. In my junior/senior year of high school, I was the only upperclassman on the bus because all the other kids could afford nice cars. I always said, 'Good morning!' to the bus driver, but the last week of school in senior year, I was able to use my father's car to go to school. However, every day I left to go to school, I noticed my bus was across the street.
Took me about three days to realize he was trying to wave me down, so I pulled over and got on the bus. He then proceeded to tell me that I was a great kid with a bright future, and he gave me a fancy bookmark to motivate me to read and exercise my mind! Honestly, it wasn’t much, but I’ll never forget that. It just warmed my heart and gave me some confidence. I never used the bookmark because I kept it in its packaging, since I want to keep it forever.
I really wish the best for that bus driver."
14. This needed reminder:
"I was going through a really tough time during my senior year of high school. My depression and anxiety were at their worst, but if someone talked to me, it would help snap me out of it for a time.
My history teacher from the year prior stopped me in the hall one day. I was in a massive depressive thought-spiral, but he got my attention by enthusiastically shouting, 'Miss [Insert Name]!'
I yelled back with equal enthusiasm, 'Mr. Schermerhorn!'
I'll never forget his response...he said, "And THAT'S why I miss having you in class!'
That might have even been the last time that I ever spoke to him, but he made me feel wanted and I really needed that at the time!"
15. This genius idea:
"My first day of Economics in college, the professor announced, 'If I ever make a mistake and you correct me, I'll pay you $20.' He then turned around and wrote "2 + 2 = 5" on the board — just to see if we were paying attention. I immediately raised my hand and corrected him. He promptly took his wallet out and handed me a $20 bill.
As a broke college student who needed beer money, you bet your ass I paid attention to every lecture that semester. It was very effective and I probably did better in his class because of it."
16. This heartfelt hug:
"The father figure in my life died when I was about to enter the third grade. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Russell, saw the obituary in our local newspaper, came to the showing and service, and gave me the biggest hug she could muster.
It's been over 20 years and I'm sure she's no longer with us, but that act of genuine kindness and love still sits in my heart and soul. I will always love her for that."
17. This earned A:
"My senior year, I was placed in a freshman-level typing class. Everyone else just chatted and goofed off, but I wanted to learn to type, so I really put in a lot of effort. I only had two classes in the morning and the rest of the day I was a waitress, as I was pretty much on my own in my senior year.
I got called into work on the day of our class final, so I went to work and missed the final. When I showed up to class the next day, I apologized to the teacher for missing the final. He asked me, 'Do you want to know the grade you got?' When I replied, 'Yes,' he said, 'I gave you an A...because, if you had been here, that’s what you would’ve gotten.'
I never forgot that. Thank you, Mr. Wyatt."
18. This absolute goofball:
"I had a high school Algebra teacher who — after he finished giving a lesson — would do some handstand push-ups while answering any questions related to the lesson...or anything regarding his all-time favorite animal, the velociraptor. Weird but funny guy, great teacher, and I'm still concerned about his extreme love of velociraptors. Cheers, Mr. Goenher!"
19. This overtime kindness:
"When my mom was in high school, she missed a lot of class due to being pregnant with me. After she had me, her math and science teacher used to stay after school, order takeout, and teach her on his own time with me in the classroom sleeping in my stroller."
20. This Disneyland surprise:
"My school's marching band, somehow, got invited to play at Disneyland. While the school was in a wealthy city, a quarter of us kids there were from an area that was very much not.
When they asked us band members for the money for the flight (hotel and food were included) I remember very sheepishly talking to the teacher afterwards to say I couldn't go. I knew we didn't have 'spare' money, so I didn't even bother bringing the letter home to my parents. I figured I'd just fake being sick, like I usually did when I was asked to go somewhere that I would have to pay to go.
Needless to say, my mom was more than a little surprised when she got a call later that week that I was flying to California. The teacher had paid for it himself.
Thank you, Mr. Melka."
21. And finally — this walking rubric:
"I wrote a term paper in psychology class and got an A.
The following year, my girlfriend had the same class and the teacher passed around a copy of MY TERM PAPER as an example of what he expected...like a rubric. That was a great feeling."