You were the first to reach me, to touch me, to move me.
Who would I be were it not for you?
With you, because of your spelling bees and your dinosaur erasers,
I spelled r-a-m-s-h-a-c-k-l-e correctly
and became the first fourth grader ever to win the school spelling bee,
beating all the fifth and sixth graders – my fifteen minutes of fame.
When I finished early, you asked me to help others.
I did, and now I teach. That’s because of you.
You loved Star Trek, and that made it okay for me
to love the slightly geeky, slightly oddball things in life.
You told me I was not a Captain Kirk, but I was a perfect Mr. Spock.
And so throughout my life I have been logical, thoughtful, intelligent.
Was that because you realized who I was?
or did I become that person to fulfill your vision?
You made it okay for me to be who I was becoming.
There were other teachers who motivated me
but you were the first to reach me, to touch me, to move me.
and who would I be were it not for you?
This was my 4th grade teacher, and she died just before the New Year. I wish I had said these words to her before she died. Students who were taught by her are lucky indeed.