Thank teachers before it’s too late

At a time when morale among teachers is at an all-time low because of unrelenting criticism, anything that uplifts their spirit is welcome (“I Should Have Thanked My Teachers,” The Wall Street Journal, Sep. 23).  I’m referring now to the remarks made by Fay Vincent, the commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1989 to 1992.

Belatedly, he realizes the debt he owes to two of his former teachers and sadly his failure to thank them when they were still alive.  The truth is that teachers never make the classroom their career to become affluent.  They do so to try to leave an indelible imprint on their students. Of course, not all succeed. But those who do deserve every student’s gratitude.  Doing so would uplift teachers’ spirits more than anything else.

Like Vincent, I had two great teachers in high school.  I owe my fluency in Spanish to Anne Phillips, who taught me more in three years with her than several professors did in college.  Fortunately, I wrote her a letter before she died expressing my appreciation.  I still have her reply in my safe deposit box.  I’m glad I did.

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