Students Giving Thanks, Spring 2020

During the last couple of weeks, the 21st Century Pedagogy Institute (21CPI), part of UCO’s Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning, has offered an opportunity for UCO students to send Thank You notes to professors. During a period of two weeks, close to 300 students submitted notes. Below you can read some of these notes, which we have altered, so they are anonymous.

As you read these comments, you may notice that the majority of them support the research on caring and teaching that concludes that not only are students motivated by a caring teacher, they also feel a sense of belonging and do better in the course.

Thank you so much for the amazing semester! I looked forward to going to your class every week and always left with a smile and funny stories to tell my family. You are by far the best professor I have ever had, and I will never forget you or your class!

Sincerely, a high schooler [concurrent enrollment]

I thought XXX [a subject] sucked, and I was just a terrible learner because I could never grasp the concepts. I was scared when I picked this class because I didn’t know if I’d understood anything. XXX is such a fantastic professor, and I learned so much from her. I saved all of her lecture notes and reviewed them whenever I needed help. She explains things so well and makes XXX [a subject] fun for me, which is something I never thought I’d experience. If I had the opportunity, I’d ask XXX to tutor me. That’s how much I love this professor—to the point that I was disappointed that I didn’t get to finish attending her lectures due to the virus. Whenever she’d tell us not to make specific mistakes because those were her pet peeves, those ended up being the concepts that I remembered most vividly.   Thank you, XXX, for everything you’ve done. The way you teach and organize your class turned XXX into something that I actually can enjoy and not fear as much anymore.
Thank you, professor, XXX, for caring about not only my well-being but the entire classes. Your effort and care show when it is easier to tell the students the blanket “just hang in there!” and move on with your day. I want to thank you not only because you helped me with my crisis, but you did make the learning XXX interesting. As someone who scored a 5 out of 5 on the AP XXX exam and took classes like XXX during my first degrees, the class reignited my love for all things XXX. It was great to see all the concepts again, but through a XXX point of view.  Thank you once again, and I hope to see you around XXX!
I want to give a special thank you to XXX for the wonderful and interesting XXX she created for the students, which helped me in the understanding of the course materials. Once again, thank you!
Thank you for all that you did for me this semester! Your kindness, passion for your job, creativity, and overall awesomeness made my semester so much better than I ever thought it could be.  The virus may have separated us, but I will always hold you close to my heart! Thank you for all that you do!
Thank you to XXX for the impact she has made on me during the courses I took with her. She has educated me on many aspects of the world through XXX. She explains topics in great detail and allows the class to visit places to visualize better or brings in speakers to give their perspective. The amount of care she has for each and every student is something I valued when taking her courses. She is also passionate about her work and makes sure to provide the evidence-based research behind every claim, which is very professional. XXX is the best professor I’ve had at UCO, and I am extremely glad I enrolled in her courses, as the things she taught me will carry on into life for a long time.
XXX, I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do for us. You inspire me with your love for this profession. I have fallen more in love with XXX after hearing you talk about giving XXX and so many other things. I know you have a lot going on, and you have so many students, but I want you to know that your teaching and guidance means a lot to me. I am thankful for you as a professor and as a person. You have made a difference in both my professional and personal life! We love you!
XXX, I so appreciate everything you do for our program. Your kindness and desire to help your students is my favorite part of UCO’s XXX program. You have made my first year in the program a joy. I am so grateful that you are always there to help, and I just wanted to tell you your hard work never goes unnoticed! I genuinely appreciate everything you do for the program, and I always look forward to your classes. Thank you so much for constantly supporting your students!
XXX, We all love you! You are truly such a light in each and every one of your students’ lives. You radiate love, patience, and kindness. You make the profession of XXX better! I have become even more passionate about this field because of you. Thank you for being a great example of an XXX, but more importantly, thank you for always being understanding and kind.
Dear XXX, I want to thank you for your continuous support throughout my Master’s as I have approached the end of it. There were times that I felt a bit hard to sail through this, but with your continuous support in guiding and helping me during my hard times made it easy for me to get through it.  I thank you for taking the time out of your schedule for helping me in guiding for preparing jobs, helping me with my resume, and giving me a free hand during this semester to prepare for the XXX I choose.   Not to mention that I love your classes and your teaching style, and I am happy to be XXX..  I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continuous support throughout my journey.
Thank you for being one of the best professors I have had while being in college. The end of this semester is not how we thought it would be, but thank you for being so supportive for all us even without seeing us every day. I hope you have a great summer and you are enjoying this time with your family!
Hi, XXX, I just wanted to say thank you for being so understanding during this time, and for continuing to post videos to help explain topics.  I appreciate the help!  Your class is interesting, and you make the material easy to understand.  I hope you and your family are doing well!
Hello, XXX! I just wanted to say that it has been a great two years to have you as my professor, and I know that you also teach XXX, but I can’t take it next semester with my schedule. Hopefully, I will have you as a Professor again before I graduate, but in case I don’t, I just wanted to say thank you for being such a great Professor! I found the material in your classes very interesting! Hopefully, I will still see you around the XXX building, though! Anyway, thanks for being such a great Professor, and I hope you and your family can stay safe during this quarantine!
I wanted to take a few minutes to express my gratitude and thank you for your continued support and encouragement. The last year of school (and life) have been a challenge. And I have only had you for two online classes in my XXX degree endeavors. Even when I bugged and bombarded you with questions even prior to last summer’s XXX class (prior to it starting) you left me a prompt, very long, thought out response to help me understand what that class entailed (which most professors do not get back to students that fast or with that much detail). And last fall and this semester in both classes you are always prompt, detailed, courteous, encouraging, and professional and helped me to understand when I am unsure or stuck on a XXX or just understanding what to write about for research, as well as to offer encouragement that I am doing better and that I am more capable then I may think I am at the time. So, thank you again for all your hard work and encouragement, and I wish you health and success in your future pursuits.
Thank you for all you do and your hard work. You do your best in helping us understand and get through this tough time. Even before in class, you did a very good job of helping me understand and get through it. You are a very hard worker teaching at multiple universities, thank you!
XXX was always quick to respond to my email inquiries and reached out to his students during the initial COVID19 time to make sure none of us needed anything.  This semester is my first after coming back in over ten years, so I was extremely nervous, then add in the COVID19 pandemic, and life got complicated.  But having a professor who truly cared and wanted to make sure his students were ok meant a lot.  Kudos to the entire faculty and administrative staff at UCO for how everything has been handled!
XXX Thank you for all that you have done for us. You genuinely care about your students and their success. You always acknowledged me when I walked into the classroom and left the class with my group. I hope to have you as my professor again with my last two years as a XXX major!  Thank you, XXX
Hey, XXX!  Thank you for a great year in XXX! I’m not going to lie; I wasn’t looking forward to the class series because I had everyone telling me it was a hard class. Yes, it was hard, but you made it fun! You have quickly turned into one of my favorite professors, and I’m sad that I won’t have any more classes with you. I still have a whole year left, though, so expect me to swing by your office to bug you!   I’m happy that you took our class back over! It was nice to have things at least a little back to normal! Keep taking the time to recover! After all, you’ll need all of your energy XXX next semester.  See You Next Semester! XXX
This semester has been especially trying, but XXX has done everything she can it make this transition happen smoothly. XXX cares about her students and does what she can to make them know that she’s on your team. She is incredibly relatable and kind. I’m glad to have her for XXX this semester.
Thank you for being so inspiring!! Your class assignments were creative & I enjoyed them a lot. Though your exams were a little tricky, they challenged me to work better each time. I hope you have an amazing year!!
XXX, I want to thank you for being the best educator these past two semesters. XXX has never been easy for me, but you helped make it easier. You always being available to help in the classroom and out of the classroom / made a huge difference for me. There’s nothing better than having a teacher like you – who truly cares about their students’ wellbeing in and out of the classroom. I’m so excited to see how many other students you can change the culture of XXX, too. It’s been a pleasure being in your class.   I appreciate you!
XXX, thank you so very much for being the best professor I have ever had. XXX has been a long-term struggle of mine, but your kindness and effort that goes into your teaching have genuinely helped me tremendously. You have gone above, and beyond any expectation I had. Thank you so much XXX. You are the best.
Thank you for doing your best with the transition to online halfway in the semester. I don’t particularly do well with online courses, but I managed to learn well in your course! I enjoyed doing the examinations and learning more about different techniques to find evidence.
Dear XXX, I would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication to all of your students. It was a relief for me to find a teacher that was passionate about teaching their subject and to help the students learn. In my college experience, I have never had a teacher like you that went above and beyond to help me and all other students from just checking on students to additional study sessions. I hope I get to have you as a teacher again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the person you are.
Thank you!! Professor XXX . You are an excellent example of a professor that goes over and above for his students. Your dedication to your class goes beyond just the classroom! You are a joy in class, and I miss seeing you weekly for smiles and great lessons! Thank you for being one of the good ones!
I still miss your class! All my other teachers have been boring/unrelatable thanks for the hard work!
XXX, Thank you for the experience that you provided me this semester. Thank you for taking the time to make those long videos over the topic. Lastly, thank you for being an extraordinary XXX professor! As a future XXX educator, I noticed the time and effort you put into teaching us and made XXX not as bad. I greatly appreciate it.
Thanks for making me like writing and teaching me about it. I enjoyed the class.
Prof XXX  Thank you for being patient and replying to all the questions we had over the spring semester.  Looking forward to taking more courses in the XXX department.
Professor XXX Thank you for being such a unique and inspiring professor. Though we weren’t able to spend much class time together this semester, I wanted you to know that I much appreciated all of the time and effort you put into each topic. You gave us constructive written comments on each assignment, and your classes were designed to inspire us to think outside the box and apply all of our previous education towards your class. I also wanted to thank you for all of the times you stayed after class to lend an ear or assistance to any of us that needed it. Professors who genuinely care about their students both inside and outside of class are hard to come by. I hope you have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you on campus next semester!
Hi, XXX. Thank you for everything you have done for your students! You are truly an amazing professor, and I have enjoyed having you in the past and look forward to having you again!
XXX you da best! You’re always so helpful and kind. You’re an amazing professor who teaches so well, and I always feel like I learn so much more in your classes than any other class.
Thank you for all that you do for XXX students. Even after we went online, you were very understanding of the situation and allowed our zoom meeting time to be a safe place to joke some and be ourselves while also learning. For me, you made it feel as if we were back in the classroom during those difficult weeks. 🙂 Thank you!
XXX !!   You already know I adore you, but why not take this opportunity to tell you again. Thank you for making this crazy semester bearable and for putting up with all of my craziness. XXX are what I look forward to every week. Your positive attitude and smile are contagious. And you’re STUNNING. Hopefully, I got a bit of everything here in this little message. Love you! ❤️
Thank you so much for being an awesome prof! Going online out of nowhere is hard, especially since you replaced Prof XXX like a week before for us. Thanks for the videos (needed those) and the effort you put in!
Thank you so much for your incredible work transitioning to the online environment. Your dedication was admirable, and I felt the compassion you have for your students by allowing us to see some of your vulnerability surrounding the loss of face to face interaction. It made me feel less alone during the pandemic and motivated me to maintain high spirits the best I could. You showed us patience and kindness and were always available for us if we needed you. I cannot say the same for a couple of my other professors, so I appreciated it.   You helped me so much during this time, and I’m sure other students feel the same way! Thank you so much for everything.
Thank you for making a difference! Although I don’t have you in class this semester, I now understand XXX and can use it without freaking out. You have made a difference in my life and helped me with other areas of my schooling, not only through XXX!
XXX, I wanted to sincerely thank you for everything you did for me both in and out of the classroom. You have been there for me not only to help with schoolwork but emotionally, and that is more than I should have ever asked of you. I sincerely appreciate all of the hard work you do to see your students succeed in the classroom and to be decent humans in the world. You are an amazing professor and person, and I wish there were more \professors like you. Thank you so much for everything.
Hi, Professor XXXI just wanted to thank you for always calling on me in class even when I didn’t want to be called on (which was most of the time). I am a very quiet person, and I usually don’t offer to share my thoughts in class because I get nervous about being wrong and don’t like attention being drawn to myself. Your classes made me push all of that to the side and share thoughts on topics a lot. I’ve never really had a teacher do that because they know I’m quiet and just accept it, so I just wanted to say thank you because it honestly helped in the long run and will continue to help me in my academic career and life. You’re a great teacher, and it’s clear you care about all of your students.
I wanted to thank you for everything you have done for me both in and out of the classroom. You have shown that you care about your students, their success, and their wellbeing. Your creative teaching methods keep me engaged and entertained. I appreciate how hard you have worked with us, especially during the second half of this semester. Thank you for everything you do!
Thank you so much for trying to learn how to use the online portal and encourage us to go through this tough time. Take care, and we hope to see you again in school,
Thank you for being such an inspiration to not only me but so many other students as well. This course has been my most interesting course this semester. It has challenged me in ways I had never been challenged in K-12 public school, and I believe it has helped me grow academically. I appreciate the fact that we covered the XXX debate, considering XXX. I see your ambient passion for philosophy, and I ask that you please never lose your passion for education.
We appreciate all you have done for us! Stay safe and healthy! 💗💗
You’re such an enlightened person, and I’m so thankful I took your class. I appreciate all of your help in and out of class. You’re a wonderful professor and human. Keep being amazing.
I appreciate the lengths you have taken in order to install knowledge into your students. Not only inside the classroom but outside of the classroom as well. You allow your students to see their potential just by persuading us to think more than we speak.
Thank you, XXX, for giving me some extra time when I needed it. I really did appreciate it, even if that time was eaten up by another class. You really were my favorite professor and class this semester, even if my grades might not seem to reflect that sentiment.
Hey, XXX! I loved your class. It was hard after the virus, but you’re a wonderful professor and person. Keep being a wholesome and decent person! Society needs you.
Thank you for being such an amazing teacher. You are one of the best ones I’ve had at UCO, and that’s pretty hard because there are so many teachers. You genuinely care about your student’s success, which is really nice. Thank you for creating a space where I can be in the classroom 🙂
XXX, Your XXX course changed my life. It was one of the best courses I ever took, and it had the most authentic engagement of any of my courses here at UCO. Thank you for all you do, and continue to do.
Thanks for always working with me and making your classes fun and informative. You have really helped me through my last few years of college



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