Dear Ms. Frierson,
I hope this letter finds you well. You probably don’t remember me, but I was in your kindergarten class in 1976 at Andrew Jackson Elementary. You were my first teacher and my first memories of school as a scared, but excited, kindergartner included:
- Your letting me and my friends Jason & Ricky go get the milk from the lunchroom for snacks every day (or so I remember)
- Your teaching us to read (I still can see some of the charts with cars, animals, etc.) as we learned basic words. You taught us to read and love books – and I can’t calculate the value of the love of reading on my life.
- Getting my first spanking from you when I didn’t want our game of tag to end on the same timeline as you did!
- Recalling how I could feel that you cared for all of your students – so important for a scared little boy going into the world for the first time.
The purpose of this letter is just to say thank you and let you know that you made an impact and put me on a trajectory of learning for the rest of my life. We moved halfway through my kindergarten year, but you made a great first impression of learning in that short time and helped to launch a path that includes a college degree in engineering, a Master’s in Business and Finance, owning a business, and being blessed with a wonderful family.
One more note – it is not lost on me that you were an African-American teacher in the 1970s, although at the time…you were just my teacher, and I didn’t know the difference. Looking back, I have no idea how that might have impacted your ability to do your job, but I want to thank you for fighting through any obstacles for a cause bigger than yourself to make a difference.
So, here’s to you Ms. Frierson (I hope I spelled your name correctly – as I kindergartner, I’m not sure if I ever knew how to spell it!) I don’t know why God put it on my heart to write this letter, but I feel obedient in doing so and just letting you know how much of a difference you made!
Sincerely and Blessings,
Mitchell (Mitch) Anderson