Byline: Tara Garca Mathewson firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Mursewick remembers himself as a difficult student. He asked a lot of questions -- "Why am I doing this?" being one common refrain, often said with exasperation and maybe a bit of a challenge to his teachers.
He doesn't remember liking high school all that much, though there are some teachers and classes that stick out as highlights of his K-12 life. But the 2007 Larkin High School grad was recently overcome with gratitude for the people who shaped his public education.
Mursewick, 23, is in his first year of full-time teaching at a small school in North English, Iowa. One night, when he was working late in his classroom -- a rough day in the middle of a rough week -- he decided to write down his appreciation.
He drafted an email to 16 of his former teachers, detailing his steps since high school, partly apologizing for any grief he caused them as their student and mostly thanking them for everything they did.
"Even though I'm doing it myself, I'm kind of amazed that there are these people who wake up every morning for 30 years of their lives ready and willing to get back into a classroom," Mursewick said.
He never thought he was going to be a teacher. Mursewick left Larkin High School for Drake University in Des Moines with plans to be a pharmacist. College-level chemistry turned him off that idea so he shifted to a focus on economics.
That didn't end up working out either, so when Mursewick found himself in the dean's office for the school of education, liking what he heard, the sophomore changed his major that day. …