Sometimes the smallest gifts are the greatest gifts. I should know, because my physical education teacher made an impact on my life that I have never forgotten.
I had just completed my final exam (dont ask me why we had to take a written exam in P.E.), when I attempted to turn it in to my teacher, Coach Bruce. When I went to give it to him, however, Coach Bruce passed a hand-written note to me.
He insisted that I not open it and asked me to read it later. Bewildered, I agreed and proceeded to leave.
Later that afternoon, as I stood in my room getting ready to change into something more comfortable, I felt the note Coach Bruce had given me stuffed in my back pocket. I immediately remembered he had given it to me, so I proceeded to read it. The note said:
The reason I wrote you this note is because Im not sure if Ill ever get a chance to speak to you again. However, I want you to know that I am certain I will be reading about you and seeing your face again, because I know youre going to do some extraordinary things in your life and impact a lot of people.
Im writing you this note so when you do indeed become famous and I read and hear about you one day, youll know that I was the first to say I told you so. Good luck and God bless.
My initial reaction was the same as yours, Wow. Then my reaction moved from disbelief to pride. For the first time in a long time, I felt there was greatness inside of me. As a child, I suffered from low self-esteem, and I wanted desperately to win the approval of others, especially men; because my father wasnt active in my life as a child.
I cant tell you what Coach Bruces letter did for my spirit, my self-esteem, and my attitude towards school. Yeah, it was just P.E., but for some reason it represented much more than that. I saved his note and carried it with me throughout college, eventually graduating at the top of my class and being voted Most Outstanding Student in my major.
As a result of Coach Bruces impact, when I became a teacher, I quickly made it a tradition to pick one student in each of my classes (not necessarily the one with the highest grade), and I would give him or her a similar note on the last day of class (just like Coach Bruce did). All I can say now is I know how Coach Bruce must have felt when he gave the note to me. Because I seem to get as much pleasure out of giving it to my students as I did receiving it from Coach Bruce.
As a new teacher (or even a veteran one), I encourage you today to look for unique ways you can celebrate and encourage a student, colleague, or administrator at your school. I guarantee youll be making a down payment on a future blessing. If you dont believe me, just ask Coach Bruce.