You taught so many kids in your career that I doubt you fully know the impact you made in my life.
I must admit that I wasn't the easiest student to have back when I was in second grade. Sure, there was no denying that I was smart and generally well behaved, but how do you teach a child that can't focus for more than a few minutes?
If I was in your position I don't know if I would have put in the amount of effort that you did. You could have let me zone out. You could have let me get away with not completing my math sheets in class. It would have made your life easier if you had. But you didn't.
You went out of your way to find out where my interests lie. You put me into advanced reading groups and advanced spelling groups. You didn't just give me another sheet when I lost my speech writing sheet. You took time out of your day to teach me how to write a speech from scratch. You taught me to push myself.
As for my focusing issues, you tried your hardest and, in the process, taught me skills that I still use today. You cornered off a whole corner of your classroom to make a quiet out of the way focus corner. You brought in a radio and headphones and had me listen to classical music while I worked. Most importantly though you sent what I didn't get done in class home as homework to teach me that no matter how long it takes, simply not finishing is not an option.
Your classroom was always so inviting from the homemade paper palm tree in the corner to the giant stuffed animals as big as I was to the homemade curtains you let us put our handprints on when we moved into the new building. I look back on second grade as one of my favorite years.
I don't think you truly knew the impact you had on me and on every person that you taught and interacted with and I don't even think that I or any of those people know either, but I do know that I appreciate you so much and I miss you being around.