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Dear Teacher - A Letter to my Teachers by Kieren Mehta

This blog post is part of the Dear Teacher series we're doing for Education month, where members of the LUNA community share the role teachers have had in their lives. We'll be celebrating all the times they got this right and what we wish they knew and could have done differently to support the disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent young people in their classrooms.

In this poem Kieren explores the things that teachers got right and wrong throughout his time in school. You can listen to this blog post here:

Hey, just a little note to say,

It would have done a lot for me:

If you’d noticed that my hands were shaking

In that year nine geography test,

And asked me if I was okay.

Instead you waited till parents evening,

Said my handwriting was illegible,

Said I was a top mark student

If I could make myself write properly.

It would have been nice, if you could

Have asked why I brought soup to class

Instead of eating at lunch,

I wouldn't have told you the truth;

I’d have eaten my words and laid out kind lies –

But it would have been nice.

And I think I would have told you the truth

Had you asked maybe three times or twice.

The joy that I felt giving you that card

For Christmas, bold and in person

(signed off with my name, being trans out loud

Heart in mouth, but hoping and earnest),

Because you said ‘thank you for trusting me’,

You said ‘Do you want any help?’

And I wanted to cry for the first time in years

But I didn’t, and I wish I’d replied:

I have been trying for years to be true.

I hope that you have been too,

But pull up your socks, tell all your peers,

There is so much more you can do.

Instead I said ‘thanks, but I’m okay’,

And then you held out your hand.

I shook it, you smiled, we parted. –

But it showed me you can understand;

You have the space to see us like none else,

Be kind, resourceful, and ask how to help.

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