It really is amazing how time passes by and how easy it is to lose touch with people who were important to us and have been instrumental in our successes as a teacher/choreographer/person. Summer happens to be a great time to reconnect with those who have helped you. I recommend that you do so for several reasons.
As teachers we are always giving and sometimes do not realize what a difference we do make. How wonderful it is when a current or past student takes the time to say thank you for helping them. We have had students send us letters or come back years later who are now successful in business, as school teachers, dancers and moms who say that their time training with us gave them invaluable lessons to help them to be able to achieve great things in life. As dancers, it is especially rewarding to see past students who have gone on to be professional dancers or dance teachers. When they drop us a line, each word they write is as beautiful as poetry. To hear from them how our words of encouragement and the invaluable information we were able to give them, as teachers, was instrumental to their success, really touches our hearts.
If we reflect back, there is surely someone who has made a difference to us as a teacher. Now is a great time to let them know. Call them or write them a note to let them know how their words of wisdom had a positive impact on you. Remind them of any anecdotes or technical knowledge that they shared with you that were particularly helpful to your development. Not only will this be great for them to receive but it will be good for you also.
Whenever I write one of these letters I find myself laughing and remembering all of the good times and lessons learned.
As the season comes to an end it is even a good time to thank coworkers who have helped you, your boss for giving you an opportunity. Let them know you care and appreciate them. When you reconnect with those who have helped you in the past you may be surprised to find that they can also help you now. We have been given the opportunity to help and provide ongoing support to some of our students who have reconnected with us and I am still in touch with the teachers who helped me early on and who continue to give me their knowledge and connections to this day.
Another reason to reconnect is that we never know when our time here on earth will be over. No one is promised a tomorrow.
It would be tragic if you had been meaning to write a letter to a former teacher but never got around to it and then discovered that they had passed on.
The day will come, once you have been teaching for a while, when out of the blue, you may receive a letter or note in the mail from a former student. Once you get through reading it, you too will know what a difference you have made in that person’s life. After you wipe away the tears, you will also understand what an impact it makes on someone when you take the time to let them know how instrumental to your success they have been. Pass it on!