We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the best thing a teacher has ever done for them. Here are some of the most heartwarming stories:
1. This teacher, who went above and beyond the call of duty.
"When I was in third grade, I had just come to the US and didn't speak a single word of English. My teacher was very tech-savvy, so he gave me a little iPod he brought from home with a translation app on it. It was the only way I interacted with people the first few weeks. He also sat down with me almost every time the class was doing personal work to teach me English, despite not being a trained ESL teacher. Thanks to him, I was speaking fluently and confidently within the first couple of months."
2. This teacher who brought the outdoors in.
"A teacher once let us roast marshmallows over tea candles while she pointed a projector at the ceiling, put up pictures of constellations, and talked about stars and Greek myths and such. It was so fun."
3. This incredibly intuitive teacher.
"When I was 11, my mother passed away. My favorite teacher knew how avid of a reader I was and that I always looked forward to our monthly book orders coming in. She brought my books to the funeral for me, and to this day, I remember getting those books and feeling like at least one thing was going to be alright. It's one of the reasons I went on to become a teacher myself."
4. This teacher who knows it's impossible to learn on an empty stomach.
"My high school physics teacher always had a supply of granola bars in her room for anyone who either couldn't afford to eat breakfast or didn't have time to because she understood that students can't learn with an empty stomach."
5. This teacher who just really had his student's back.
"I was a weird kid with a big heart. I didn't even have friends 'til middle school. My drama and English teacher Mr. Moreno encouraged my weirdness, and when I graduated from middle school, he wrote in my yearbook, 'I love your world, a world that's all yours, and if you ever lose that world, I will hunt you down and restore you to your former glory.' I look at that whenever I feel lost. You never forget the first grown up who has your back."
6. This one, who had just the right things to say.
"Last year, I ended up having a panic attack during class and had to exit the room. Shortly after I left, my teacher came out and talked to me to calm me down. She was just so patient, kind, and understanding during the whole situation. Ever since then, she's checked up on me and seen how I'm doing, making sure I'm okay, which I appreciate more than she would ever know. If it wasn't for her talking me through my panic attack, I don't think I would have ever sought professional help for my anxiety."
7. This amazing advocate.
"I'm transgender and a senior in high school, but in the middle of sophomore year I came out, and my math teacher helped me buy a chest binder and pronoun buttons. I've never felt so appreciative towards a teacher."
8. This good-humored teacher-turned-colleague.
"In eighth grade, Mr. Robbins caught me passing a poem I wrote to a girl in class. I can't even begin to explain to you how inappropriate the poem was. Anyhow, he read it and told me to see him after class. He told me that I was going to have to call the girl's mom and read the note to her, which I was incredibly embarrassed to do. It was awful, but I survived. After the phone call, he patted me on the back and said, 'You know what? I think you're a really talented poet and writer. Make sure you keep at it.' He encouraged me to write for the rest of the year, and informed me of every writing contest. Later in life, we ended up being colleagues. He never let me forget the note, though."
9. This financial aid fairy godmother (or father).
"My teacher fought for me so that I could go to college. I had applied to NYU, my dream school, and there'd been a mix up with my financial aid, and I hadn't received any scholarships or grants. I called the university and they told me they couldn't re-evaluate my financial aid. I cried so, so much, and my teacher was there for most of my breakdowns. One day, I found out my teacher talked to multiple representatives and ultimately got me to the head of financial aid at the university. He's the reason they fixed my financial aid, allowing NYU to be a possibility."
10. This mental health day advocate.
"My senior year of college, I was very busy with school, figuring out what I was going to do post-grad, and I had been having some headaches/symptoms a neurologist was concerned about. All of this combined triggered quite a bit of anxiety. One day, my professor walked over and whispered in my ear that she could tell I was not myself. She told me to go home and take the rest of the week off. That showed me she truly cared and that she valued my mental health. I'm now a teacher myself and try my best to demonstrate grace just as my professor did for me."
11. This clever nap enabler.
"When I was in my junior year of high school, I wasn't sleeping due to an early morning bible study class that Mormon youth attend before school that started at 5:45 in the morning. My theater teacher noticed that I was falling asleep in class and wasn't focused. When she asked what the problem was and I confided in her, she allowed me to go into her classroom during lunch and sleep, sometimes not waking me up when class started. It may not sound like much, but I wouldn't be here without her. Thanks Mrs. P., you changed my life."
12. This teacher who ended up being a great confidante.
"When my depression was at its worst and I needed to seek in-patient treatment, I was most upset about missing Ms. Kern's American Lit class. She was always a no-nonsense teacher who loved to mix life lessons into her lesson plans. On my last day at school before being admitted, I stayed after class to tell her I'd be gone for a while. She opened up to me about her own depression during her battle with cancer, and explained that even when her body and her mind were trying to kill her, she stayed brave and, in the end, beat both cancer and depression. Seven years later, I still tell myself to stay brave as I take on my 2-year-old daughter and a career as a writer. Without Ms. Kern's wisdom and never-ending love and understanding, I don't think I would have made it this far."
13. This field trip facilitator.
"When I was in middle school, my family and my best friend's family were having a hard time, money-wise. A field trip to a theme park was coming up, and our English teacher asked us why we hadn't turned in our permission slips. We explained that our families couldn't afford the trip. He told us to get the paper signed and bring it to him. Turns out, he paid for both of us to go!"
14. This teacher who literally is making dreams come true.
"I've been an undocumented immigrant (a Dreamer who applied for DACA) living in the United States since I was three. When I told my theater teacher of my situation, she decided she wanted to help me out so I could have a future. With the help of Mrs. Swatzell, I am now entering my senior year with the hope of going to college, something I could have never imagined or thought of. I was sure college wasn't an option, but Mrs. Swatzell donated her time and money to one of her students because she cared. I can never thank her enough!"
15. This truly thoughtful teacher.
"When I was in fourth grade, I had to go to Indiana to get surgery on my pancreas. The day before I left, I got called down to the nurse. When I came back, my teacher had thrown me a surprise good luck party with my whole class. She made brownies for everyone and invited my parents to celebrate. I'm 23 now and I still consider that one of the most special things anyone has done for me."
16. This highly encouraging educator.
"I had a teacher who encouraged me to enter a writing contest. I was super shy and lacked confidence, so she helped me edit and revise my story before I entered it. I actually ended up winning the grand prize which was an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, with all the other winners from across the country. She also gave me the best advice that I'll never forget: Don't settle for a job that gives you the Sunday night blues. It's been my motivation to be who I want and do work that makes me happy."
17. This animated orator.
"In fifth grade, I had a teacher who was very passionate about books. He always encouraged reading, as many teachers do, but what really set him apart was that he read aloud Roald Dahl's The Big Friendly Giant to our class. He would read passages of the book every week, and always ended on a cliffhanger. He also assigned a distinctive and dramatic voice to each character that made you feel like you were in the presence of an entire Broadway cast. His enthusiasm for literature is the reason I'm still an avid reader 15 years later."
18. This helpful hugger.
"Right before second grade, we moved from Maryland to Louisiana, which was basically like moving to another world. On the first day of school, all the students at my new school were supposed to find our names on the rosters posted on the classroom doors. I looked at all the doors and realized that my name wasn't on any of them. Because I was very shy, I was scared to tell anyone about it. I was on the verge of tears when one of the teachers came out and asked if I needed help. I'll never forget how she immediately pulled be into a hug and said, 'Don't you worry, baby. You're just gonna come and be in my class then.' It doesn't seem like much, but to my shy, scared 7-year-old self, it meant the world."
19. This imparter of unconditional love.
"When I was in seventh grade, I was going through a really hard time. My home room teacher gave me a journal and said, 'Write what you are feeling. Give it back to me and I'll write back to you. No judgments.' I spilled my life and every feeling I ever had to her. She always wrote back the most uplifting and encouraging things. We went through three full journals over the course of my seventh and eighth grade years. I'm now 26 and we're still in touch. She changed my life and taught me a lot about empathy and unconditional love."
20. This important proponent of being organized.
"My seventh grade science and gym teacher spent lunchtime showing me how to keep my binders organized and manage my time using our school agenda. She also taught me how to study properly. I was horribly disorganized, my papers would fall everywhere and be a mess; my schoolwork was messy and disorganized. Thanks to her time and patience, I now have a reputation for being highly organized and diligent. Without her help, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have gotten nearly as far in my career and my day-to-day life as a 35-year-old mom of three would be a lot more hectic."
21. This trustworthy teacher.
"My teacher stood by my side when I was 12 as I reported to the counselor at school about my abuse. He was the first adult I ever told. It changed my life, no one ever raised a hand to me again."
22. This teacher who gave some solid life advice.
"My high school social studies teacher was divorced and remarried. She gave us (specifically the girls) some advice she learned from her divorce: Don't plan your life with the expectation that someone will be there to support you. Make sure you are able to support yourself first, and everything else will be a bonus. At that point, I made it a goal to save enough money on my own to put a down payment on the house of my dreams. Having the drive to be financially independent made every decision to work hard at school/work a really easy one."
23. And this teacher who provided way more than an education.
"In fifth grade, my math teacher fostered my love for the subject. Growing up, my parents abused me and called me stupid. So when I finally moved out (read: ran away), I changed my last name to that of my fifth grade math teacher, because without his encouragement I'd never have made it through and become the person I am today."
Some responses have been lightly edited for length or clarity.