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Thank You for Never Believing in Me

Thank You for Never Believing in Me_5fbeb6cf74cb3.jpeg
Kim De Guzman Student Voice teacher effectiveness teacher quality The Belief Gap

Thank You for Never Believing in Me

Thank You for Never Believing in Me

Thank you for doubting me and belittling my abilities.

When you criticized my work and made me feel like nothing I did was good enough, it pushed me to my breaking point. It made me determined to succeed and helped me grow a thick skin.

When you defended your “star student” after he made my friends cry, I wondered why you would drive your class apart instead of resolving conflict so we could work better together. But it’s OK, because your actions helped me be a leader myself so I could rally around those who no longer believed in themselves.

Thank you for blatantly showing favor towards other students, even though they weren’t the ones staying long hours after school to do what you asked them for help with. Thank you for praising those students openly, although it was clear they took credit from people like me for their accomplishments. You taught me to keep working hard, even if I was underappreciated, because my efforts would pay off and someone would value me, even if that person wasn’t you.

Thanks to you, I also learned how to keep my emotions in check and not walk away when things got hard.

Thank you for picking sides and showing that you were untrustworthy. It’s all right, because it forced me to surround myself with people who supported me and whom I trusted.

Thank you for your complete lack of support of those who weren’t your favorite students. When you picked apart everything we did, we learned the value of teamwork and most importantly, friendship. We became our own support system. There were many days that you made us cry, scream or want to quit school, but that’s OK, thanks to you, we found solace in each other. Together, we were stronger.

Thank you for pretending to care about us when you clearly didn’t. Your complete indifference towards your own duties as an educator taught me self-reliance, dependability and the importance of taking responsibility for my actions.

At the end of the school year, when I won the scholarship I had worked so hard for, and my friends finally received the recognition they had long since deserved, you acted as if you had been there for us all along. When you bragged to everyone that you were our most trusted teacher, I learned the value of maturity and how to rise above petty behavior.

Thank you for a memorable school year filled with tears, burning anger and crushing defeat. Thank you for being, without a doubt, the worst teacher I ever had. Because without you, I may never have learned how to fight for my goals or stand up for myself and the ones who are precious to me. Without your negativity and constant criticism, I may never have learned how to deal with adversity. Without you, I may never have had the guts to take chances in life and accomplish the things I’ve done since high school.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for you. Thanks.

What Is the Belief Gap?Too often, students of color and those who face challenging circumstances are held to lower standards simply because of how they look or where they come from. Close the Belief Gap →

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