Celebrating The Life And Impact Of Teacher Lily Lin-Thompson

Celebrating Teachers

As a child, school is your life. It is the root of all socialization and core learning during your formative years. So it is not an overstatement to say that teachers like, Lily Lin-Thompson can change lives.

Many qualities make up a great teacher, and Lily Lin-Thompson has all of them. Thinking about the time spent in her third-grade classroom conjures feelings of warmth and comfort, memories of laughter and fun. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I reached out to Miss Lin (her name during my era) to share what drives these vital – yet majorly under-compensated pillars of our society and what we can do to make them feel appreciated.

As soon as we start talking on the phone, I remember her personable, genuine nature, and we seemingly pick right back up like old friends. I express gratitude to her for creating a safe, nurturing environment for myself and my classmates, and I ask how she goes about cultivating that to this day, in the 20th year of her career.

“I think it is always important for me to make sure everyone feels welcomed, heard, and understood, whatever walk of life. I lived in poverty when I was younger; I know that struggle. So, there’s no judgment,” she says. “I just try to [think about] what I needed to feel safe at their age. I’m there to protect them, but at the same time, if they do wrong, I’m going to address it. So just having that boundary but also having that welcoming feel and making sure they know they are valued and that I see them beyond their reading level.”

After spending most of her career in elementary schools, Mrs.Thompson took on a new challenge in teaching high school for the first time this year. She confirms that there is an emotional strain on education professionals when they lend themselves to a safe space for kids in these crucial years of their lives.

“Especially this year, being in high school, I was not expecting to hear the stories that my kids are going through. I have cried to my husband, my best friend. Even though I feel powerless that I can’t fix it for them, I feel powerful in that they can come to me, and I can reassure them of their value, that they are here for a reason, and that they will get through it.”

With all the sacrifices teachers make for their students, it’s not often enough to ask how we can make their lives easier. I asked Mrs.Thompson what she would request from parents if she could speak to them collectively. She says that parents can support teachers when hearing about their child acting out, hold the children accountable and seek additional resources to help them succeed.

It was such a joy to express appreciation to an educator who made a difference in my life nearly 20 years ago, and Mrs.Thompson says being able to make a difference keeps her going.

“Honestly, it’s been such a blessing to be able to teach. There are times when I’m like, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ or, ‘I don’t want to, I’m not passionate,’ but this year, being at a high school level has just brought that passion back again, and I’m just so grateful that I can be there for my kids when they need it.”

So, cheers to the teachers who make a positive, lasting impression; may they feel all the love and support they deserve this Teacher Appreciation Week and beyond.


What do you think?

385 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Monika Knotts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *