Recently, my mom mentioned she was taking a class and one of my former teachers was in her class. Miss Klemme taught my high school senior religion class in 1995-1996 at the private Catholic high school I attended back in the Midwest. She was one of my favorite teachers, so I decided to write her a letter… and on actual paper, put in an actual envelope, and mailed away with a stamp! So 1996, right?!
Dear Miss Klemme,
Recently, my mom told me about her class and passed along your message. It got me thinking back to high school when you taught my senior religion class. I wanted to share some of my memories with you.
What I remember most about you as a teacher is that you focused on Jesus’ underlying message. One time, you read a story aloud to us about a group of monks who were told that Jesus lived among them, but they didn’t know which one of them was Jesus. They all started treating each other much differently! That story stuck with me. Underneath all of the dogma and doctrine, the point was simple. Jesus was love, and we could practice his teachings in the way we treat others. And I’ve never forgotten that.
Another time in class you asked us to write psalms. That was beautiful. Your class always seemed to be about joy and love. While other teachings over the years have faded in my memory, these core virtues have stuck with me.
And we can’t forget that time I locked my keys in my car at school while the car was still running! I was pretty stressed out senior year, I guess. You kindly drove me home to get another set of keys. You practiced the things you taught about kindness and love… maybe that’s another reason I remember your class more than others.
Now, as I raise and home school my son Ethan, I think most about the values I want to impart. Thank you for reminding me that it’s simple, at heart. Teach kindness; teach joy; teach love. And most importantly, seek to embody those virtues. Be joyous. Be kind. And treat others like they are Jesus in disguise.
Thank you for being you, and for teaching our class. I’m sure it had its challenging moments, but you persevered and you made a difference in my life (bet I’m not the only one who feels that way!).
I’m grateful for you, and I love you too!
In Gratitude & Love,