Thank a Teacher Program

Since 1997, the Thank a Teacher program has provided a way for University of Minnesota students to formally recognize instructors who challenge and inspire them. Through Thank a Teacher, the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) connects students to instructors and learning to teaching.

How does it work?

Students submit a short note to instructors who have made a difference in their education. Some choose to include their names and others submit their letters anonymously. CEI lightly screens all the submissions and then sends the letter and a certificate of appreciation to the instructor or advisor once grades have been submitted for the semester. In addition, all recipients’ names are forwarded to the Provost’s office along with selected notes.

Selected notes

Here are a few selected notes sent by students to instructors who made a difference in their education.

Graduate student teaching

One of the things I appreciate most about your lectures is your willingness to explore and explain interesting ideas that don't strictly relate to whatever textbook chapter we had just read. For me, this really brings your lectures to life, and it provides me with more ways to engage with the material. Your eagerness to go on these brief asides belies your passion for the subject and inspires me to learn more.

Ilene with client

I've recommended your course multiple times as "life-changing" and "perspective-altering". I believe every teacher (and parent!) should take your course, if even an abridged version of it…. Thank you for your knowledge and expertise. Thank you for being particular about terminology and the discrete differences between similar ideas. Thank you for your clarity and organization as an instructor. Thank you for making what is arguably one of the most important aspects of education--and one of the most maligned--relevant and meaningful.

Students in a class with instructor

I have had many professors throughout my education here at the University but the one that really stands out to me is Dr. S.H. Everyone knows that if you have her for a course that you will leave with a portfolio of worthy work. She pushes the students to do their best, and yes it is a lot of work, but the results are worth it. She is always willing to work with students and often makes time outside of the classroom to meet with those who have questions. Truly an amazing instructor.

Faculty talking with students

Your discussions always helped solidify the concepts for me, and I know I'm speaking for many other students when I say you were an extremely effective instructor. The memory that stands out to me from the Fall Semester was when you helped me study for the third exam by taking several hours of your time (beyond normal office hours) to make sure I didn't bomb the exam. I'm pretty sure I still got a C on that test, but without your help things would not have been pretty. Thanks for bringing a fresh and overwhelmingly positive perspective to math, and for making math fun for me. I wish you the best in all your future endeavors, and hope you're having a wonderful summer.