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To the Teacher Whose Classroom Was My Safe Place

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To the person who kept me going,

Thank you for everything you did for me from the time you met me all the way until the present day. I know you hate hearing it, but I can honestly say I’m not sure I would be alive if I didn’t have you. I met you the summer before my freshman year of high school when you were my summer school teacher.

From that first day, you established that you treat your students as your equal because you believe to be treated as such. When I finally got my schedule for freshman year and saw that you would be my English teacher, I was so happy.

Later that semester, you sat down with me to discuss switching levels the following semester, but it ended up being a time where I could talk to someone who I trusted. On that day, you further established that you would be there for me if I ever needed.

Later that year, I fell deep into the pit of depression and experienced passively suicidal thoughts almost every night. However, the fact that I knew you would notice and miss me if I didn’t show up to school the next day was one of the things that kept me going. At the end of that year, you wrote in my yearbook that you were my friend and that your classroom was always open if I wanted to visit.

Throughout the rest of my high school career, I took advantage of that by being in your classroom every morning before school. To me, your classroom is the definition of a safe space. When I ran into some issues and got sent to the school social worker my junior and senior year, you were there to listen and tell me that it would all be OK. You were the one who believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. I remember you saying to me that my one goal second semester of my senior year was to make it to college. You knew that’s where I would really shine, and you were right.

Now, I come back to visit. I love telling you about all that I have accomplished because I had someone, who at my lowest, kept me going. So thank you for everything you’ve done because without you, I truly don’t know where I would be.

Not just another student

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 4, 2016
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