9 Days of Nice: Write a Thank You Note To a Former Teacher or Mentor

I’m spending the next nine days being as nice as I, personally, am capable of being.  I’d love it if you played along!  You can check out our plans here, paste your photos on the Yes and Yes Facebook page, email me your related blog posts, or hashtag it out with #9daysofnice.


As a former teacher and the child of two teachers, I cannot overstate how much teachers love getting thank you notes.  Education is a challenging, frustrating, not-particularly-high-paying career and those moments when you know that someone actually listened?  They make the long hours and grading worth it.
I’ve had a lot of great teachers in my gajillion years of school-going but Argie was amazing.  My senior year of college I took her creative writing class at the University of Minnesota, Morris.  We did more than craft over-wrought personal essays about Our Feelings, we worked with local nursing home residents creating found poetry.  We printed books full of these poems and gave them to the residents and their families.  Argie was one of the first people I ever encountered who tied creativity and creation to service and community.  It’s lovely to create something artistic.  It’s even better to create something beautiful that connects and affirms and inspires.
So, thank you, Argie.  I’m trying my hardest do something with my life and work that’s as meaningful as what you’ve done with yours.

Which teachers or mentors have inspired you?  Have you told them?  Because you should!



I was most inspired by my math teacher for the last two years of school. He was the first to really challenge me (just by being so damn smart himself), he would interrupt our normal boring lessons to go on tangents about the dance of bees or rotations of galaxies. He was the first to talk about the "beauty of math" and sound like he believed it. I studied physics because of him.

I tried to contact him at some point but I was unable to find him. He had left my old school and they did not know where he had gone. Very sad.


i stumbled here through kathleen of jeremy & kathleen I think, and your blog has since become one of my favorite reads in my reader. this is my thank you note of sort to a newfound mentor.

cheers xo


I have stayed in contact with my 6th grade teacher over these last 18 or so years, and I would periodically write to my 3rd and 4th grade teachers in Pennsylvania, too. I got to visit them before they retired as well, which was super special for me because they really helped me succeed during particularly rough patches of health for me. I need to actually send the publication I am in to my 4th grade teacher to let him know he had a part in me getting to see my name in print 🙂
I love good teachers!

Kate - Crazy Lovely Me

I was actually homeschooled starting in first grade – because that year was a miserable experience for me. But my kindergarten teacher was spectacular. I would love to get in contact with her and let her know how much I appreciated it – but it's hard to find someone after twenty years.

Argie Manolis

Thank you, Sarah. I am so glad to have found this blog–from what I see here, you are definitely living a life of creative integrity. (I look forward to browsing some more). To know that I had any small part in that is an honor. I am grateful to have learned so much from my students–and it means the world to me to hear that the found poetry project mattered to you and that you remember it! (All these years later, by the way, my students are still planning activities and writing found poems!)


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