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An Open Letter of Gratitude to College Professors


Dear (Good) College Professors,

I’m not sure if you know this or not, but this week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and today is National Teachers’ Day. So I thought I’d start my day off (I know. I’m a late sleeper. That’s why you never see me in your 8 a.m. classes) by taking a moment to appreciate you. All of you. For all that you do. Because even though it may sometimes seems like we’ve forgotten it, college students (most of them anyway) do realize that the point of college is to get an education, and that would be pretty difficult without professors.

But I want to thank you for more than just choosing to be college professors; I want to thank you for being really great college professors. Looking back on my four years of college I’ve had some not-so-great professors, but I’ve also had some amazing ones that opened my mind up to thoughts and ideas and novels and topics I never would have considered before. They cared enough to inspire their students. And that’s worth thanking them for.

Teaching is a job. I get that. And as teachers you’re not obligated to do anything more than show up to class (most days) and  give us a grade at the end of the semester (and there are some professors that can’t even handle that). But a lot of you do so much more than that. You go above and beyond what is expected of you. You make class interesting. You make class educational.  And you make class worth attending.

So thank you.

Thank you for all that you do for us. And I do mean, all that you do.

Thank you for not conducting a class straight out of the textbook, for allowing for equal parts lecture and discussion, for assigning a reasonable workload. Thank you for letting it go those days you saw me pull out my cell phone to send a quick text during class, or the days I brought my laptop to class and the only thing I was taking notes on was my Facebook feed. Thank you for not being the professor who schedules a big test the day we come back from Spring Break (or for being that professor but yielding when we begged).

Thanks for staying after class to talk about my big paper with me. Thank you for understanding that there are some days when I’m feeling fare too overwhelmed. Thank you for treating me like an equal. Thank you for extending your office hours so you’d be able to meet with everyone in class. Thank you for letting us out early every once in a while, and for canceling class during those crazy snow storms. Thank you for the study guides and the syllabi and the e-mail reminders, and even for the tests that I hated but really did help me learn my stuff.

But mostly  thank you for being the kind of  teachers who care, not just about academics or our experience with academics, but about us in general.

A grateful, graduating, college senior

Keep your head, heels, and standards high. Follow me @jenninzetta