SOLC Day 27: Thank you, Mrs. Minzy!

March 2021 SOLC–Day 27
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
http://www.twowritingteachers.org

Dear Mrs. Minzy,

I imagine you’re surprised to hear from me. I’m not even sure if you’ll remember who I am or who Connor is, but I wanted to send you a long overdue thank you.

More than twenty years after you spoke them, I still remember your words. It was Connor’s Parent Teacher conference. I think it was in Kindergarten, but you also taught him in second grade, so it might have been then. At any rate, Connor was a bit of a chatterbox, and I distinctly remember what you didn’t say and what you did say.

You could have said, “Connor calls out too much.” or “Connor needs reminders not to talk during work time.” I’d bet that on some days, you probably were thinking, “Connor won’t shut up!”

Instead, you said this, “Connor has such strong verbal skills and when he learns to manage them better, they’ll be a huge asset to him.” I remember being so appreciative, as a parent, with how you phrased that. How you saw potential rather than merely problem. It struck me powerfully then, years before I even considered becoming a teacher. Now that I am a teacher, it influences how I communicate with parents every day.

Last week at the end of a parent-teacher conference, a parent said to me, “I just want to thank you so much for seeing X. the way you do and how you see positives behind his behaviors that can drive people crazy.” They should have been thanking you, Mrs. Minzy, and I realized that it’s about time that I do so as well. So thank you, for your role in Connor’s education and for framing your view of him through a positive lens. Thank you for helping me to be a better teacher and probably a better person.

With gratitude,

Molly Hogan

16 thoughts on “SOLC Day 27: Thank you, Mrs. Minzy!

  1. This slice really speaks to me. How powerful it is when we reframe and find the strengths within behaviors that we may find personally challenging! What a powerful lesson that Mrs Minzy modeled!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. amyilene says:

    I love this letter! I do hope that it finds its intended audience, but it will definitely impact the “secondary” audience here. Thank you…today, I will think about who I should write a letter to!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dianelisa2 says:

    I like your idea of writing a letter to someone who has had a positive impact on you. Also, I love seeing how little things people do make a huge difference. Your letter is clearly written and sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda Potts says:

    How lovely! And talk about modeling a strengths-based approach. Connor was lucky to have Mrs. Minzy – and so were you & all the children you teach. Amazing to think of the influence of those words and all the ways they’ve echoed through the world by now. (Also, my last assignment for my 12th graders is to write a thank you note to someone who influenced them during their education. May I use this as an example?)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Does Mrs. Minzy get your blog? Have you sent her a hard copy for her folder of parent appreciation letters? See the good in each of our kids. Another mantra in my seventies is “Expect the Good.” Days are brighter and happier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I haven’t been in touch with her in more than a decade, I bet. I did send a link to her Facebook page. I knew she’d retired, but when I googled her, I saw that she’s still actively seeking to make the world a better place in her corner of the world.

      Like

  6. kd0602 says:

    Thanks so much for this powerful reminder as I finalize my report cards and head into conference week. Another blogger wrote a similar post last week…it’s always my aim to be positive and I so appreciate hearing the echoes about how much it matters! This is my first year in decades not doing student-led conferences where positivity is paramount. Thank you Mrs. Minzy and Molly!

    Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] (For more on the power of a teacher’s words, consider reading Melanie White’s post Journals or Molly Hogan’s post Thank you, Mrs. Minzy!) […]

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  8. humbleswede says:

    This is a great letter and a great illustration of that Henry Adams quote about a teacher never knowing where [her] influence stops. It’s entirely possible the one of your students, or one of your student’s parent will continue this chain reaction. I could write a similar thank you to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher who referred to Sarah as a leader. “When she laughs that big belly laugh, everyone laughs.” I think that could well have meant that she was a bit disruptive, but we appreciated the leadership spin.

    Like

  9. notthewholestory says:

    Oh, how much I learned from Mr. David about patience and understanding. I wish I had written him a letter like this, telling him how his actions really changed who I am as a teacher and a human being. I remember how he asked me to go to the office and get him some coffee. Ha! I made it all the way back to his desk, and then I spilled it all over his papers. He said, “Well, let’s clean this up.” He was so calm and understanding, and I remember how this is the antithesis of how my dad would have responded. I have carried this with me my entire life, and I have the same calm response anytime my students make mistakes, drop things, spill things, etc. I just found out that he passed away suddenly last year, so reading this was bittersweet for me. I hope that you can pass this along to Mrs. Minzy, so she can see what a wonderful impact she had on you and your son. Such a wonderful slice!

    Like

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