AMY HUHTALA – SALEM JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
My daughter’s 8th grade teacher is Mrs. Huhtala. She is an extraordinary teacher! My daughter says she is her favorite teacher this year. On the last day before Christmas break, Mrs. Huhtala sent home a hand written card to my daughter and to each of her students in all of her classes. The card talked about the qualities and the positive things that she had noticed in each of her students. I could hardly believe that a teacher would have the time or even make the time to do such a meaningful deed. She has told her students that she wanted to highlight the things they do right, since most teenagers only hear about the things they do wrong.
When Mrs. Huhtala was growing up she remembered that Christmas day was magical. When coming down the hall for Christmas, her favorite thing, above the nicely -wrapped gifts, was to search the tree for her letter from her mom. She would grab her letter and wrap herself up with a blanket on the couch and use the lights of the Christmas tree to read her mom’s letter. It was a letter of encouragement, praise, thoughts about life and her love for her daughter. This is one of her most vivid memories from her childhood. For 18 years, she has carried on the Christmas letter tradition with her own children.
Now as a teacher she wanted to give a gift that was easy to afford and also worthy to give her students. Since she said few things fit that category, she decided to extend the letter-writing tradition to her students. For a few years, she was given a hand-written, individual letter for Christmas to each of her students. She said is wasn’t much, but she gave much care and thought in her words and hoped it would help the students know how amazing they are. Each part of the letter is individual except for the phrase, “”Remember you are brilliant”. What a positive and thoughtful thing for anyone to do, but as a teacher, I think it is amazing the influence and love they must feel from Mrs. Huhtala. What a blessing she is to my daughter and to all those she teaches.
– Nyla Alldredge
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