Professor’s Heartfelt “Thank You” Email Brings Students to Tears

Jessica Langer thank you email

Teachers do more than just instruct—they inspire and empower their students. Professor Jessica Langer did just that in her creative marketing course at Ryerson University in Toronto. Impressed with her students, she wanted to thank them for being a fantastic class. “I've had really great students in the past, but I don't know that I've ever had a group that's so big [about 90] and yet so uniformly great,” Langer told Upworthy. There was also another reason for her message. Like many young people, they are “rightfully anxious about the future.”

Langer composed an email that first thanked them, and then sought to assuage their anxiety. She let them know that despite what happens in their lives and the world, she’s there for them. “Statistically, at least some of my students are likely to be in home situations where they don’t have an advocate,” Langer explained to BuzzFeed. “I feel very strongly that my job as a professor is to be a person in my students’ lives who they can trust and who has their best interest in mind, and who can and will advocate for them.” The field they’re studying—a creative one where things move and change quickly—is hard. “I wanted to give them some reassurance,” she said.

Langer sent one final email to her students:

Jessica Langer thank you email


The letter struck a chord with her students, who responded to her email with gratitude—one even burst into tears after reading it. For them, it was exactly what they needed to hear. Langer doesn’t sugarcoat some of the challenges they’ll face, but tells them that it’s okay to have setbacks.

“If these things happen,” Langer wrote, “please remember that you're not alone. These things happen to everyone. They are not a reflection of who you are: they are a reflection of circumstances, usually out of your own control. And if you have a setback, please don't give up. I want you to know that I'm rooting for you from the sidelines, silently cheering you on, even if it's a decade from now.”

The inspiring email was shared by one of her former students on Twitter, and it’s since gone viral, comforting more than just her class. Strangers are moved by this compassion and Langer’s universal message. She ends the letter with a powerful reminder:

“Each and every one of you is valuable.”

Jessica Langer portrait

Photo credit: Jessica Langer

Jessica Langer: Website | Twitter
h/t: [Buzzfeed]

All images via Twitter unless otherwise stated.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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