Dear Former Teacher,
All throughout elementary school and high school you were my science teacher. As my science teacher, you taught me valuable life lessons that I will never forget. You have always had a love for the environment and you have always tried your best to instill that love for the environment in each of your students. You taught me the importance of the environment and how human life depends on it. You explained to me how everything in the world is interconnected. You showed my class and I the connection between plants and trees, bugs and insects, and animals of all kinds including us humans. You taught me this by explaining the food chain and the life cycle. You taught my class and myself not to abuse the environment. You had recycling bins in your classroom to show us how to properly dispose of objects. You encouraged all of us to recycle our batteries, old electronics, and also cardboard along with any papers we no longer needed. You took us for regular walks and trips around town to pick up garbage that people had carelessly thrown away. You created a compost bin for the classroom and encouraged everyone to feed the worms whenever we could. You took my class and I on field trips to see the habitats of different animals and insects. This showed us how and why we need to respect the homes of other living animals. You showed us how beautiful the environment is and could be but also encouraged us to dig deeper and find out why everything in the environment is not always beautiful. You encouraged my class and I to explore environmental issues and assisted us in calculating our ecological footprint. It was small activities like this that began my life long journey of exploring and understanding the environment and environmental issues.
All of these things that you have taught me have shown me how to be ecoliterate. I may not have realized it until now but you were trying to show your students what it means to be a part of an environment and how we need to respect nature. You were trying to show us how to be one with the planet. You wanted to show us the importance of not altering the environment around us. You were trying to show us the harm that is done when we do alter the planet through deforestation, pollution, mining and even the oil industry. You tried to show us how even though these practices are harmful, our society has come to depend on some of them. You tried to show us that the world is not perfect and that we can’t correct the alterations that we have made to the environment overnight. It takes time and the cooperation of several individuals to correct the problem. You showed us how it may be impossible to undo all of the harm humans have done to the environment but how even simple actions can make a difference. I realize I still have a lot to learn about the environment but you intrigued my interest in environmental issues and so I would like to say thank you.