Dear Ms. Vohar

Rex’s amazing first grade teacher is retiring this year and heading back to the states to take up Grandmotherhood. For the friends and family who have followed what a rocky road it was getting Rex into her hands, you know that this woman has a piece of my heart. How do you tell someone who has made such a difference thank you? Here’s my letter to her, writing it made me bawl my dumb old head off and even reading back through it the words don’t seem to be big enough. We just really needed her this year.

Thank you Ms. Vohar, you are so loved.


Dear Mrs. Vohar,

It’s funny, but all week long I have felt the weight of two or three decade’s worth of mothers on my shoulders. Like if I don’t take the opportunity to tell you how you have shaped and nourished and blessed our family I will be letting countless parents down, parents who might not have had the words or the occasion to tell you that you made a difference for their son or their daughter.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to say thank you for all of us.

Thank you for giving my son a place. Thank you for welcoming him with such a steady hand and demanding more of him than he wanted to give, he has grown and is better and stronger because of his time with you. I don’t know if it’s your incredible resume of experience or just the amazing heart that God gave you, but you embraced him and accepted him and we really needed that. Thank you.

I’m not writing this because it’s Teacher Appreciation week or because the PTA suggests it, I’m writing you because every time I pick Rex up from the bus and ask him about his day the first thing he says is, “Do you wanna know what I ate for lunch? Mrs. Vohar was so proud of me!” (Except, of course, that day that he threw up the mashed potatoes, but that was the exception.) It’s not all the reading and writing—which I know is supposed to be the real reason he’s there—it’s the way you have taken your part in his life this year one step further. This little extra bit of teaching that happens in the lunchroom makes such a difference in my boy’s day. He knows. He knows you care about him because you insist that he eats his cucumbers. Thank you for that.

I went through 13 years of public school and never had a teacher like you. You have been a gift to us this year. When Rex saw you in the classroom during that first day of orientation and you paused to wave at him…thank you. Thank you for seeing him, and then later for really seeing him. You are an incredible individual and the world is a better place because of you. On behalf of all the mothers who ever gave you candles or cookies or gift cards because they didn’t know how to put it down in words, thank you. Thank you for blessing these little children. You have made such a difference.

Love and good luck in your next big adventure!


Warmest regards,



  1. sues2u2 says:

    Ok, wiping the tears now. I think your letter is just perfect.

  2. I’m certain that your letter will mean a lot to her. Good teachers quietly do their work, improving the world, one kid at a time, for little money, despite all the challenges. Good job to YOU for the simple acknowledgment of her contribution. We should all try to say “Thank You” to the good people in life more often.

  3. That was amazing.

  4. That was so sweet!

  5. Dear Annie Valentine. WOW, you did it again. You are amazing, and this letter will be worth more than all the teacher appreciation cupcakes she has ever eaten. These are the affirming notes that we (mankind) keeps tucked away for a lifetime. I was expecting you to muse on about mothers day- THIS WAS PERFECT!

  6. namaste says:

    this was such a sweet and thoughtful letter. your mrs. vohar will definitely appreciate it. i enjoy the way you write 🙂

  7. Beautifully said. Thank God for those tender mercies….Rex was truly blessed with this woman as his teacher. Thank you for saying so eloquently and tenderly exactly what she meant in his life (and by extension-yours). I am sure she will be touched, as she deserves to know what a true treasure she has been.