Most Shared

This teacher's thank-you letter to her students went viral because we all needed it.

'I want you to know I'm rooting for you from the sidelines, silently cheering you on, even if it's a decade from now.'

This teacher's thank-you letter to her students went viral because we all needed it.

At the end of the creative marketing course Jessica Langer was teaching at Ryerson University in Toronto, she wanted to find a special way to say thank you to her students.

"I've had really great students in the past, but I don't know that I've ever had a group that's so big [about 90] and yet so uniformly great," writes Langer in an email, explaining that her students are "rightfully anxious about the future."

"The creative industries are changing so rapidly," she explains. "It's hard enough to graduate into a field that's stable: to graduate into an industry that's going through such change is anxiety-making. I wanted to give them some reassurance."


She decided to send her students a heartfelt letter, imparting one final lesson.

Image via Jessica Langer, used with permission.

Her e-mail is an honest depiction of the obstacles and challenges she knows her students will face in the real world.

And not just in their chosen field of marketing either. More than 4 out of 5 students graduate college without a job lined up according to The Washington Post. In 2014, the overall unemployment rate for people under 25 in the United States was 14.5% — more than twice the national average at that time.

Langer concludes the letter by offering a perspective on success and failure that reminds her students not to define themselves by their obstacles or setbacks by writing (emphasis added):

"These things happen to everyone. They are not a reflection of who you are: they are a reflection of the circumstances, usually outside your control. And if you have a setback, please don't give up. I want you to know I'm rooting for you from the sidelines, silently cheering you on, even if it's a decade from now."

In response, Langer's students flooded her inbox with gratitude. One student named Blayne Stone, who had been rather quiet in class, sent her an email that said he would carry the lessons he learned from her with him his whole life. Another wrote a letter to Langer's department asking they keep her on at Ryerson.

One of Langer's students was so moved by the letter that she posted it to Twitter, where it quickly went viral.

Langer's message about personal value resonated far and wide beyond the doors of her classroom. It was a message many people needed to hear.

Being an adult means having successes and failures. In those moments, Langer wants her students — and anyone who reads her letter — to remember that work is not the end-all-be-all of their value as a person.

When there are setbacks, it's important to remind yourself that there are people in your corner you can call upon to give you strength. Perhaps that's why Langer's thank you resonated with so many people; her sentiments represent every teacher and mentor who inspire us to keep pushing forward, even during our darkest hours.

Her letter's conclusion says it all (emphasis added):

"Success looks different on different people, and your success will look different than your friends'. Each of you also has different strengths, and different challenges. That's also okay. Each and every one of you is valuable.

You matter. To me, to your friends and family, and to the world."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

RELATED: A gay couple's pride flag helped give a young teen the courage to come out to their family

One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

RELATED: A homophobic ad was placed next to a pizza shop. They messed with the wrong place.

He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.