Try not to cry at this math teacher’s advice to his students

teacher desk

Todd Petrie/Flickr

Him + his letter = tears.

Teachers don’t often get the credit they deserve. They have to wrangle children all day long and somehow teach them stuff along the way. But one teacher managed to break through the noise, and one of his students wants the world to know.

The student, who identifies herself as Val, shared a photo of her and her math teacher, Mr. Sadik, to Imgur. She included a touching message about the impact he had on her and her classmates, and the message he read to them on his last day at Atlee High School in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

In a post called “Today math made me cry,” Val wrote:

The awesome looking person on the left is my calculus teacher. Today was our last day with him, and as we were goofing off he slowly went to the front of the class and got our attention. Pulling out a piece of paper, he unfolded it and then burst into tears, muttering that he ‘couldn’t do it.’ He looked up and said, ‘I can’t say goodbye.’ This man is the only math teacher that made me more confident and comfortable doing math, and I have NEVER seen him without a smile on his face.

He then read out advice about college whilst trying not to cry, telling us to never accept quitting and to always do new things. I have never had a teacher show so much joy and love towards his job and his students, and I am so lucky to have had this man as a teacher.

He ended his speech as best he could, saying “Smile… when you smile…. the whole WORLD opens up to you. Please smile.”

Thank you, Mr. Shadik, for teaching me the fundamental theorem of calculus and showing me how to be a fundamentally nice human being.

Keep smilin’. Keep shinin’.

Photo via Todd Petri/Flickr (CC 2.0)

Marisa Kabas

Marisa Kabas

Marisa Kabas is a lifestyle reporter and activist. Her work has been published by Fusion, Fast Company, and Today. She’s also served as an editorial campaigns director for Purpose PBC, a social movement incubator.