We all have a teacher that stands out from the rest - maybe they recognized your potential, helped you discover something you love or got you through a difficult time.
For Markus, a fifth-grader, that teacher is Mr. J (short for Jermaine!), and he wanted his mentor to know his impact. When Mr. J walked into his classroom earlier this week, he reportedly discovered a letter, addressed to him, on the student's desk. "Thank you for being [an] awesome teacher and for being amazing!" Markus began.
So I walked in the classroom and found this letter on the desk that one of my kids wrote me and... I tried so hard not tear up pic.twitter.com/QTbQ6kZ2bH- . (@mainey_maine) April 24, 2017
In his short message, Markus supposedly explained that he sees Mr. J as the father figure he never had: "I look at you like my dad. I never met my real dad, but it's okay because you treat me like I'm your son. You make me so happy. Always feeding me when I am hungry and hug me when I am sad."
Even better than Markus's words is the fact that he has a positive role model to inspire them. While the boy can't stay in the fifth grade forever, Markus didn't want Mr. J to think that his compassion went unnoticed, even as the school year winds down. "I will never forget you, Mr. J," he wrote. "I love you and I will never forget about you!"
Mr. J took to Twitter, where he shared a photo of Markus's letter. "So I walked in the classroom and found this letter on the desk that one of my kids wrote me and … I tried so hard not [to] tear up."
Honestly, we're beyond crying at this point - the tears are just coming. And we're not alone. Mr. J's post has been retweeted 141,000 times, has nearly 500,000 likes and has received an overwhelming amount of replies. "This is too much, man, I can't stop the tears," one user wrote. "Bless you for having that kind of an impact on a child," wrote another. "More people need to see this as an example."
And while Markus's words are poignant enough to make Mr. J's calling worthwhile, this isn't the first letter he's received. After another one of his students learned that he'd been in a car accident, Mr. J claims she wrote him a sweet get-well note, thanking him for his "loyalty, friendship and kind[ness]":
So about two weeks ago I was in a car accident and so one of my students heard about it and she wrote me this letter pic.twitter.com/jkWivuKP2I- . (@mainey_maine) January 25, 2017
The best part? At the end of the day, after Jermaine received superhero status (thanks to a lot of press coverage) and thousands of new followers, he said in a Tweet that he "does everything out of love," and that he asks for nothing in return. Looks like we could all benefit from taking Mr. J's class.
I do everything out of love, I don't want anything in return for what I do. I love to love and care. I just do me and I chill. I'm blessed- . (@mainey_maine) April 27, 2017
In a statement to GoodHousekeeping.com, Jermaine explained that this is his very first year teaching (yep!) and that making a difference in his students' lives is a forever goal: "I always try to make an impact on every child. I want to be more than just a teacher. I want to be a role model and someone that they look up to. I just love to help kids and make them happy. I can't impact every child but if I can impact a few or the best that I can then I know I'm doing something right in love."
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