The Importance of Reaching Out To Old Teachers – People Watching #8

okay that’s all for now you will finish reading chapter 2 for tomorrow please Thank You Ted would you stay for a minute please I guess what did I do now you did this creative writing assignment said and you did a tremendous job I just wanted to let you know that did I okay this is a really good story you’ve written I think you should submit it for publication I know there are a few youth anthologies that would easily accept this I can even help you with that if you like is it good I was just kind of writing whatever yes it’s extremely good as is everything you write you’re a very talented writer it’s a rare gift shared by some pretty great people I hope you’re at least somewhat proud okay I guess I’ll write more I think he should dear mr. Dolan I was googling random shade at 3:00 a.m. for some reason and somehow I got from the Wikipedia page for double-decker buses to the website for the old school and I remembered how you were basically the only good teacher I ever had so I thought I would write to you and say something I’m not even sure actually maybe this is just weird you know what never mind dear mr. Dolan I was cleaning shit out of my closet the other day and I found some old stuff from school and I remembered how I basically hated every other teacher except you and then I looked at the Alumni page of the school website and saw the business owners and the dentists and that chicken was on shark tank and half of them were younger than me and then I wondered why I wanted to write to an old teacher to announce that I barely make a living cobbling together various writing and comedy and acting things and my new book sold 143 copies and the publisher stop replying to my emails and why the fuck would I ever tell you this dear mr. Dolan I keep getting the idea to write to you but I don’t know how this kind of thing is supposed to go I feel like acknowledging that you are an actually good memory for me and a haze of awkwardness and bullying but at the same time I’ve tried googling the shit and when most people write to old teachers they’re saying thanks for fostering my interest in science and reading because now I’m a physicist slash judge and Mike eventually attractive partner and children would just like to say cheers for the leg up so I didn’t end up with some creepy guy in a bar making teenage money at age 30 and writing completely unwelcome letters dear mr. Dolan you would read books to the class and when we obviously weren’t paying attention you would scare the shit out of everyone by yelling suddenly when the characters in the book would yell and I always thought that was fucking hilarious sometimes I do it during my act but it’s not really the basis for a letter I’m guessing dear mr. Dolan maybe I just hated all of school and every teacher and most of the kids and it was just decades of misery and you were just the least bad experience instead of something actually significant and this letter is a brick sailing through your mental window and there’s a note tied to it but you don’t recognize the name because why the fuck would you I mean even if you did know who I am this is looking ridiculous dear mr. Dolan my kindly grade 7 teacher thought I’d just let you know I just finished writing a 40-minute comedy set about oral sex and a lazy man should just become gay because it’s less research because that’s the kind of thing I do with my time and I fucking you swears do I other people use the and and and I like that Japanese porn where the women have dicks and I’m hateful and unapproachable and sometimes I’m fucking literally just looking for a fight and you’re a normal man who coaches volleyball and helps from the community and aren’t you glad you had some hand in my upbringing isn’t it totally appropriate for me to be writing to you how the fuck’s it going dear mr. Dolan I keep coming back to this letter even though I don’t even know what you mean to me like do other people have this problem dear mrs. Kincaid I just wanted to casually and easily wish you a happy retirement in a manner that’s entirely proportional to your role in my ongoing existence yes I almost made six figures last year I know right dear mr. whoever I literally haven’t thought about school since I graduated because it was a smooth and unremarkable experience for myself and my friends and probably most functional human beings hello professor brewer it was good to see you last night I greatly enjoy our bi-weekly dinner it’s so wonderful that the friendship that blossomed between us back then has persisted so strongly throughout the years and dear mr. Dolan god fucking damn it dear mr. Dolan I’m allegedly a writer but I don’t know what the fuck I’m trying to say dear mr. Dolan this is the biggest house I’ll ever own dear mr. Dolan everything seems like a good idea at 3:00 a.m. dear mr. Dolan the first time I had the idea of writing to you you were still listed as a teacher but you must have retired by now and I guess I still have the email address you gave us back in the day but I doubt you still use it so I think this is just a convenient sign that this was a fucking terrible idea to begin with I don’t even remember myself back then why would you hopefully you enjoy your retirement and get letters from actually successful students and then live out the rest of your years and you’ll eventually pass on never knowing that I think your you know what fuck it dear mr. Dolan hi it’s Ted L I was the Lippe irresponsible kid in your grade 7 class like 17 years ago I was weird then and now I’m even more a sketchy nebulously counterculture guy who’s like barely overlaps with a kind of person you are or no or probably ever encounter and you are a teacher for like 30 years you had hundreds or now of kids and most of them are normal and you probably see them at the supermarket with their kids and meanwhile I’m sitting in the dark a thousand miles away in the middle of the night writing the 800th draft of a letter to someone who obviously wouldn’t remember me or understand why I would remember you but there’s a point to this I swear I do remember you I remember the other kids bitching about how hard of a teacher you were how was weird that you did the voices when you read books to the class but me and a couple other kids hated every teacher except for you I never fit in and I remember how you would single me out for extra attention sometimes and I always wondered how you knew to do that but in retrospect it was probably obvious that I needed an arm around my shoulder you definitely did that for me because you’re one of those rare people called an adult Capital a I am not an adult but I’m trying to get there I swear and if anyone gets there it’s because of the example other people set for us it’s easy to forget how much time you spend as kids with adults who want our parents but who also influenced us no matter how differently ended up being and every kid needs that especially with their kids and I’ve probably blocked out most of my time in the education system but I guess I’ve always remembered you and I remember you told me it’s okay to start a sentence with and because writing has no rules and you taught me to define stuff like nice and cool instead of just mindlessly using words but most importantly you were the first person to tell me I was good at something and I was like oh really I’m good at writing but that went on to form my entire identity I write for a living now as much as I make a living I mean I keep waiting until I’m officially successful and mature to start thanking everyone but I could be waiting forever I mean that’s not what life is so it’s like this writing is the one thing I’m good at and I’m glad I’m good at it so yeah I’m writing this to you and maybe you won’t even read this I probably miss my chance and you won’t know who the hell I am anyway because nobody keeps their email address was 17 years ago and nobody remembers people from back then either so maybe I won’t even hit Send one time but even if I’m just talking to myself here I guess I just need to say I remember you I need the universe to know that you were fucking a really good teacher so thanks it’s a rare gift shared by some pretty great people I hope you’re at least somewhat proud [Music] [Music] hello people Watchers I know everyone says this but it would really help us make more people watching if you were to like and share our videos please do it I am NOT Winston Roundtree


  1. Dear Mrs. Dreiner.
    You were my biology teacher for nearly all through school and one of the only teachers I wholeheartedly enjoyed listening to.
    I had concentration issues, struggled with depression, anxiety, and bullying from kids as well as teachers.
    School mostly felt like a big blur of feeling unwanted, at the wrong place and misunderstood.
    Every year I was afraid of parental conversations with teachers, because it was every year the same about me being a hopeless case, too silent, too desinterested, too unfocused.

    Until the talk before I entered highschool, and I talked to you. And you told me you've met types like me. The silent types, the one who rather plan an entire novel out in their head and write 20 page essays during exams than dare to speak up. The ones who don't feel able to properly be a kid in school and feel like failing.
    And you told me I shouldn't be afraid. That you see potential in me. And passion. And even if biology may not be it, you can see interest and sparks in my eyes and eagerness to learn, even if I don't loudly voice it like most others. And that I should hold on to that, and follow my passion.

    This is now about 5-6 years ago.

    I have a job now, where I do what I like, I have my very small but dear group of friends, I haven't achieved anything special, but I achieved something. And that is already far more than anything i ever thought I could do.

    And I think about what you said to me these few years ago a lot, I think about writing you, and like in this video, I don't feel it would be important enough, compared to the doctors and scientists and politicians and whoever might be writing you else.

    But I wish one day I could gather up the courage to write this email to you, and not in a youtube comment section under year old videos.
    Maybe one day.

  2. I wish I saw this last year. So I could've talked to a certain teacher who even was on the news for his passing because everyone loved him.

  3. This inspired me to write letters to 12 of my teachers from elementary school all the way to university, thanks!

  4. When he got a reply, I started crying. Like the guy, I really love to write but no one has really Really gave me good advice on it. The closest I had to acknowledgement was my english teacher who’d write positive comments here and there on our weekly journal entries.

  5. I’m the loser that has at least 7 of my old teachers numbers and occasionally comes to visit and help out. But I’m not ashamed of that cuz they are all important figures in my life and for all the times my own parents have let me down these teachers have lifted me back up and I’m willing to give back for everything they’ve done for me

  6. My grandma was a teacher and she always tells how glad she is when one of her former students talks to her, so I think most teachers love to be remembered and be important to their students

  7. Heartwarming, unfortunately I don't have any contacts of any of my old teachers. 🙁 I guess they deserved a better student.

  8. Recently reached out to old elementary teacher, and started the email along the same lines. I was googling new radiators tho… And he's my music teacher

  9. I actually had a good teacher I wanted to reach out again. I found out that he died from cancer. So, I at least went to his funeral. I was happy to hear that despite he had cancer didn't stopped him enjoying the rest of his life.

  10. Never cried yet on one of their episodes. But the last scene just really got to me. He is so fortunate to have had someone like this in his life. I’m so fucking unnoticeable. I might just be a pebble.

  11. I can think of a few people I constantly draft letters to that I never send, teacher-figures mostly. I'm just scared they think it's dumb.

  12. My husband is a high school teacher. I can vouch that he cares for his students, and just knowing that he reached one would mean a lot.

  13. I wish i had this kind of relationship with anyone in my life. I remember some teachers fondly but not quite in a way where they helped make me a better person or anything. Its sad but it is what it is.

  14. I'm a high school English teacher, and I get letters like this from time to time too. They are what makes all the long hours of grading, planning, watching games, going to student concerts, coaching, driving kids to tournaments, blood, sweat, and tears worth it in the end. Letters like that, and the people who inspired me in the first place.

  15. Dear Mr. Pasto, my 8th grade history teacher, thank you for seeing me. I was the shy goody two shoes, so I was invisible to most people. But you spoke to me, a lot. You made me feel smart, respectable, important, powerful, and worthy of attention. You made me feel like my opinions had value and told me I could change the world. And that is what I have tried to do every since. I am now a lawyer, and I am doing good in the world. I've always wanted to tell you how much you inspired me. You are the only teacher I have ever thought of this fondly. Thank you.

  16. my art teacher once asked me about my self harm scars in front of the entire class. then when i obvsiouly lied and said they were birth marks, he asked again, and again. yea, about the polar fucking opposite to this lol

  17. If you're worried that your income is too small to be considered "successful", remember that the person you're talking to in this specific context is a schoolteacher. Have you seen their salaries?

  18. It's funny, I never thought anybody else really considered the concept of conventional attractiveness, and I always called it "traditional attractiveness" when talking to myself playing new vegas at 3am

  19. This is both depressing, comforting and inspiring. I'm studying to become a teacher, and I hope that I can be a possitive influence like that. When I'm feeling down on myself, that's the only aspiration that I have.
    Like I said, this is both depressing and inspiring.

  20. i reached out to my old 2nd grade teacher recently to thank her, and found out that she's now teaching in grad school, teaching other teachers to.. become teachers, and shes USING MY OLD FICTION STORIES as an example of good writing!!!!

  21. All my favorite teachers, even the ones I miss like crazy, turned out to be terrible people. Mostly just way inappropriate with students and former students. It makes me sad because they DID shape my life and help me get to college, which I was not keen on. But I can't contact them because they went so wrong.

  22. People always seem to think that school is a place where kids are brainwashed into becoming mindless office workers.
    It’s not.
    They say grades don’t matter, they are just letters.
    That’s not true.
    Everyone that is working at the school is teaching. How to read, how to write. How to count.
    If we didn’t have them, there would be no books. There would be no new inventions. Nothing would make any sense. This world we have created would make no sense.
    The teachers are teaching. If you are getting bad grades you aren’t trying. You aren’t learning. It’s up to you. Maybe you don’t want any jobs that involve how to ad and subtract fractions with unlike denominators, but your brain is growing. And learning makes it stronger. It is a part of your journey into adulthood.
    You are there to learn. Once you have learned and you understand the topic you do something to show the teacher you have learned. The teacher will take that and give you an A, a B, a, C, a, D or an F.
    Teachers deserve to be payed more. They deserve respect, like any other human being.

  23. Mr. Hornyak… if you’re reading this, I wanted to say this for a long while.

    Thank You.

    Fletcher Gray Stewart

  24. I didn't know this existed on YouTube: modern day storytelling that entertains and teaches us about ourselves and each other in a non-science, non-religious way. The humanity level on this is off the charts.

    Thank you, Cracked. You've made me and some others feel connected to each other, through common experiences, in a way that seems to be really tough, these days.

  25. I'm watching this like the third time, and I just noticed that his teacher bought one of his 143 sold book copies. It just made this so much more beautiful. People watching is great for hiding a lot of gems in itself for us to find, to connect to their stories more. I in general connect to the image of this show, and feel subnormal myself, haha. I'm hoping for a third season, I think you're great. Also hoping some stories actually do get resolved before the series inevitably dies, so I hope you have something planned for some characters of the show. Keep on rocking!

  26. I'm on both ends of that letter.
    I'm the kid who kept writing because a teacher said I was good, and now I'm the teacher too. (Only a lot less successful as both.)
    A couple of years ago, one of my favorite teachers from college died really young, and for a while I felt like sending messages to all the teacher I liked before it was too late to say anything. I couldn't find the email or phone number of the one who encouraged me to keep writing though, so I didn't send any of the messages I wrote. Now I think I'll try a little harder to get those contacts.

  27. Remember Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society? That's the best way to explain Mr. Bellamy. By the time I decided to find him and tell him how important he had been to me in high school, he had been dead for several years. Moral of the story: tell them now.

  28. im gonna email my old art teacher soon. she had a baby when i graduated and i bet shes a great mother. she was really nice to me when i was in a bad spot.

  29. 4:12 when your foundation doesn't match your neck so you try to play it off by putting foundation on your hands

  30. I just started watching this series and this episode brought me to tears, I never got to thank my teacher for supporting and believing in me, as a kid in writing classes I was the only one who wrote about vampires and zombies, I wrote about my weird dreams and my unrealistic reality, she never made fun of me or pushed me to write in a certain way. I’ve been a blogger for 10y because of her support and how she showed me that I am not weird specially in my hometown it’s kinda rare you know. She passed away 5y ago and I never got the chance to tell her what she meant for me. Practice gratitude dears, you never know when it’s too late.

  31. Dear Mrs. Mlad…you’re one of the reasons I became a teacher! Thanks for always opening your classroom. I’m not teaching high school or middle, but you’re a big reason why I wanted to work with kids!

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