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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Notes And Letters: Letter To My Former English Teacher

"Someday, you'll gonna be a prose or poetry writer."  

A word from an English teacher. A vivid memory that still owns a special place in my heart and mind. 

It was year 1992.  I'm a sophomore student. The time then was 9:00 o'clock in the morning. English class ongoing. 

The lesson was all about "adjectives". She got us think of an adjective word. From that adjective we've chosen we need to used every letter of that word and form a one stanza poem. 

And so the eager me hurried to get my pen and a piece of paper. The word I selected was "FAST". 

I started digging my thoughts, trying to come up with rhyming words to complete that one stanza requirement. Being in the star section - the cream of the crop, I need to step up my game or else I'll be lagging behind some of my brilliant classmates. Afraid that I might end up submitting last, I quickly thought of words that would complete the stanza. Never did I realized that when I passed that piece of paper - that one fourth piece of paper - I'd be seeing my paper as the first one being submitted.

So my English teacher started reading my one stanza poem.  And she ended up saying those words above. It was a boost to me - a real boost that is. Forgive me guys, the only lines I'd ever recall was this: "Flying birds are untouchable" - and the rest of the lines I completely forgot. As much as I wanted to share with you the whole stanza, I really cannot remember it now. But the compliment that my teacher rewarded me stayed permanently that up to now still lodge into my head. And every time I write a poem, I always remember her words to me. 

So, I'm writing her a letter - a letter showing my gratitude and heartfelt thanks. 


Dear English Teacher, 

Circa 1992 is the year I was once your English student. 

That somehow nerdy-looking thin boy has been inspired by your way of teaching. Of how you encourage us to study hard. Of how you made us feel that learning the language isn't that hard if we'll just put our heart into it. 

I can still recall how you'd assign as to write a friendly letter to some of your students in your former school in Manila as your way of exercising our young minds and brings out our creative skills through letter writing. How you'd assign us with an oratorical piece and let us deliver it in front of the class using an elevated platform. How I managed to do it - I don't wanna remember. The shivers in my body made me choke and forgot few lines. Yet, instead of showing disappointment with my performance, you'd even assisted me until I finish the last part. And with my perseverance and your untiring support, I was able to finish the English class with an average grade of 92%. 

You've built not only my confidence but the entire class as well. How we look forward to seeing you after our first class in the morning - Math - because you always have something surprising in store for our daily lesson. How you made some of my over-lazy classmates study their lessons and improve their performance was such a feat only a devoted teacher can achieve. 

For all that you've done - molding and shaping - our young minds for our future, I am forever grateful for the chance that you had been my teacher. I may not be the popular prose or poetry writer today, but I'm seizing the moment of being a person who loves writing. And that's because you've done so much in my young student's life that I brought those lessons in my present life. 

I remember you when I had my first English teaching stint in one of the academic institution in the south of Manila. Though I never dreamt of being a teacher - because my first love was "Engineering and Journalism then, but when I was given the opportunity to impart what I know - I did my best - and was rewarded with accolades and compliments I never had received in my field of work  in the corporate. 

It's overly satisfying and utterly emotional seeing my former students videotaping their send-off messages when I was about to leave school for work abroad. I wanted to cry but I didn't as I don't want them to cry a river more. Some really cry out loud and pleaded for me not to leave the school but I just need to go. My way of appeasing them was the assurance that I'd stay in contact with them once I'm away. In fact I did and even until now that some of them are in college, we're still connected. 

Truly, I could never have been good in any of my endeavor if I didn't listen and hear your words of wisdom. My gratitude is high heaven and I'm waiting for that moment until we see each other again to personally warm you with that utmost respect and thanks you so deserve. 

I sincerely thank you for enriching my vocabulary. Thank you for the constant belief in me that I will do good in life. With that, I'm forever grateful. 

Your former student, 



This letter was inspired by the article I read over the internet about the reviving the lost art of letter writing. I have always been planning to do this kind of entry, I just don't know yet where I should get my motivation. Now that I have it, I think this will occupy my blog in the days to come. I still have to decide whether it'll be a weekly or monthly basis. I need to think first I can faithfully comply. 

For now, it's time to hit the sack and let me end this by saying, "The beauty of someone can always be neatly put in the beauty of words from a the heart of a sincere person." 

Good night and God bless 

Challenge: Do you have your most love former teacher in grade school / high school/ or college? Can you write a letter for them?


  1. Hi Jay,

    I can totally relate. I, myself, have been a recipient of the gnenerosity and goodheartedness of my former teachers. One of them was my first grade teacher who is now 70 years old, and yes, I still visit her as often as I can. Another is my high school teacher who is now retired from teaching. We do still see each other, and in fact I accompany her to hear Mass every Sunday.

    Your letter to your teacher shows how grateful is your heart. May there be more students like you who takes the inspiration outside the classroom and into the real world. Have you ever thought of sending your teacher this letter? You should ;-)

    Keep writing and keep sharing your thoughts. God bless your grateful heart.

    1. Hi Nortehanon,

      Thank you very much! Sincere words from makes me blog more. I guess, at some points in our lives, we have to give credit to the people who molded us to who we are right now - and one of them are our teachers.

      Thanks for visiting my online abode. Appreciate it much! :)

  2. I never lost interest in letter-writing. That's because I've been writing letters to my grandmother for the past 10 years. She insisted that I write her letters because the internet freaks her out. Hahahaha!

    Anyway, balik tayo sa main theme- ang iyong English teacher. Alam mo pareho tayo. Hindi kaya classmates tayo? hahaha! 1992 nasa elementary pa ako noon.

    I was the jack of all trades sa academics mula elementary hanggang first and second year highschool (after 2nd year kasi umalis na ako ng Pilipinas). Nung freshman ako sa highschool dun ko nakita ang ganda ng literature salamat sa English teacher ko. Ewan ko ba at hindi ako nagka interest masyado sa Pilipino, palibhasa kasi yung Filipino teacher ko noon wala talagang alam sa Filipino literature.

    Sobrang minahal ko noon ang English subject ko na pinabayaan ko na lahat ng ibang subjects. Wala noon akong pakialam na ibagsak lahat wag ko lang hindi matapos yung book report ko o yung essay na ipinapasulat sa amin. Noon din time na yon nag start din ako sa poetry.

    I blog now and write thanks to Ms. Ocampo. Ewan ko kung nasan na siya. I hope she's still producing future writers and Tripsters. hahahaha!

    Kapag sinipag ako, I'll take the challenge and write to my former teacher, pero hindi sa English. Sa Math siguro. Para ipaliwanag ko lang kina sir Samson ang kabobohan ko sa subject niya. hahaha!

    1. Wow, kudos to your effort of doing that - I mean writing letter to your grandmother. I always appreciate people doing the basic things.

      Hahahaha! As you have spoken, mas matanda ako sa'yo kung 1992 eh nasa grade school ka pa hehe.

      Masipag ka pala talaga mag aral. Ako ang sipag ko was rooted from my desire to earn a degree and to help my family from being financially challenged (then).

      There is so much beauty in literature - that I don't know why some don't appreciate it that much. (tamad lang siguro talaga sila) haha

      Wow, ako naman, gradual lang ang improvement ko sa English noon. Kasi that time - HS time - tamad din ako magbasa, pero attentive ako sa klase. Sa essay part - gustong gusto ko din na may essay sa exam kasi it gives me freedom to exercise my imagination and to express my mind about the topic at stake.

      So Ms. Ocampo was primarily your inspiration in writing. I hope I can see/read a 'thank you' letter for her soon published in your blog.

      Hahaha, natawa ako sa Math teacher - writing to explain why you didn't take the subject more seriously haha. Siguro kasi addicted to English ka na before haha

    2. Sige sige magkwentahan kayo ng mga edad mga LINTIK kayong mga bata kayo LOL!

      Naku mukang pareho kami ni Tripster may plan din akong sumulat sa high school math teacher ko - HATE mail nga lang ha ha ha

      Btw, Tripster wow naman sa writing letters to your grandma - heartwarming.

  3. My tita is my best english teacher. She taught me everything I know. She read my diary before and there's an entry about how much I thank her.. Hehehe.. Tsk.. Oo, back then, they check my stuff and all... Ok lang naman. I love writing, in my head, andami kong gustong isulat. Pero dahil makakalimutin ako, nawawala at mahirap i dig. Lakas maka-impluwensya ng mga teachers! Haha :D

    1. Indeed, ang lakas maka impluwensiya especially sa mga taong gustong magpa impluwensiya.

      Kaya I suggest, If you have an idea esp. those that suddenly pops up, write them down in a piece of paper para di makalimutan like what I do. I always maintain a small note book para kung may idea na lumalabas sa utak ko, I write the key words to remind me about it. :)

  4. Bigla ko tuloy naalala yung dalawang favorite teachers ko in english during my high school days. Si Mr. Tanangonan and Mrs. Aguilar. Nasan na kaya sila ngayon? Basta ang natatandaan ko sa kanila ay mahusay silang magturo, strict pero may mabuting puso naman.

    I love the sincerity in your letter dad. How I wish makagawa din ako ng ganyan for my former teachers.

    (teka, kuha muna ako ng tissue :D)

    1. You can always do, make it simple but sincere. I am sure your former teachers will be delighted if they happen to find out that you do one.

  5. they're just like our second parents. there are those who do more than what is expected and change our life forever. my best teacher ever is from high school, also my english teacher. she is the reason why i am an addict book reader and why i am spontaneous. whenever we visit her, she is still that same person who can make you feel that you're still her student, that you're still important to her.

    Kudos to all our teachers!

    1. We all do share the same reasons why we love them. It's either they increase our interest in exposing ourselves in the English language or trigger our desire to read more - they simply molded us to become the way we are today. Thanks for visiting. Appreciate it much

  6. I wish meron akong ganyan memory. I am your admirer. Wish I could write like you:)
    My problem is I just self studied to get my degree. No teacher at all. Kaya puede ba kaw na English teacher ko? hi hi.
    Although daming books na puede basahin how to write properly pero they just give me headache:)
    But writing letters is a good idea. Thank!

    1. You are doing great Mommy Joy. You will always do good when you do your best in all you do.

      Why not? Hope I can be with personally to share what I know. But, I'm just a typical writer, there are those whose knowledge at way beyond what I can do.

      But, on the good side, I do thanks and appreciate the compliments you shower me. The goodness in you never ceases. :)

  7. To be honest, English was my least favorite subject. I'd rather solve calculus or memorize the table of elements than study adjectives, verbs and nouns.

    But what's ironic is that no matter how I dislike the subject, I always find myself engaged in it. I would probably be the worst editor-in-chief of our newspaper and would probably be the worst proof reader of our legal cases because until now I still do not know what word goes with what grammatically. What I know is if my writings sound great, then they probably are. :)

    1. Even in my case, during my HS I excelled in Chemistry & Physics (Science) and Math and History. English was not my thing. But I also find English challenging. Plus that time, I knew I wanted to write. So, I guess that's where liking English in the latter part was triggered.

  8. -.- <<---- that's me. Di ko talaga magets sa una. Was that a letter you wrote or something you took from the net. Inspired pala! ahaha. Some of my memorable times in high-school was also from my English teacher. There was this one time where we were asked to write a penpal letter.. ahahaha, asar eh. Ako talaga I admit na di magaling sa English mapa written or spoken, kaya your teacher Dad was awesome kasi ganyan ka kagaling.

    1. Hahahaha! Buti nalang may word na "inspired" sa dulo or else you'd think, copy paste ang ginawa ko haha.

      Thanks :)

  9. Iba talaga ang nagagawa ng mga 'salita'. Yung napuri ka ng iyong English teacher ay humantong na sa maraming magagandang karanasan. Sana mabasa niya yung ginawa mong letter, nakakataba ng puso para sa iyong teacher! :)

    1. Oo nga, power of positive words can bring you to places as it triggers you to do more by the inspiration you got from the compliments you've received. :)

  10. I can relate 'cos my English teacher (back when I was still living in Thailand) was also very inspiring to me and encouraged me greatly to pursue writing in the future. Nobody else in my life really did that, so I owe her a great deal for making me believe in my potential. Maybe I'll write her a letter too? Haha. Kaso hindi ko na alam kung saan sya nakatira so I wouldn't know how to send it. Perhaps a Facebook message instead? Hmm...

    1. You can still do write your teacher and publish it in your blog. Now, that you can't yet locate your teacher's current whereabout, just post it in your blog. When time comes that you do contact your teacher at least you got your ready "written presents" for your teacher. I'm sure your teacher will be the proudest that day if you finally meet her and send your message across.

      Thank you for dropping by in my online comfort zone. Comments such as yours makes me write more. God bless.

  11. I love writing letters. In fact until lately I still send holiday cards to friends with my own personally written wishes and messages. But sometimes nakaka-disappoint pag nalaman mong hindi nila na-receive because it got lost in the mail :(

    If there's one teacher that I can't forget and want to thank is my English teacher in college. She was a terror and everybody fear her except for me. I love her style. She's the reason why I became a disciplined writer and learn the best technique in writing...

    I am marking this as one of my entry in my 365 Blogging challenge. THANKS for the challenge!

    1. Reviving the lost art of letter writing is just so nice. Good thing, there are still a few like us who still manifest this method. Masarap kaya makatanggap ng sulat especially nowadays kasi puro na hi-tech ang usapan.

      Let us continue doing so, kasi nothing can beat the basic things in life. Wow, I will look forward to that letter writing na gagawin mo as part of the 365 days challenge. Nice one! :)


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