‘I Learned a Lot From You, Even If I Didn’t Act Like It’: Ex-Student Finds Newly Retired Teacher on Twitter & Thanks Her for Shaping His Life


Updated Aug. 27

This article is one in a series at The 74 that profiles the heroes, victories, success stories and random acts of kindness found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at The74Million.org/series/inspiring.

When English teacher Glenda Funk decided to retire this year, she worried about her future.

“Retirement does not bring an end to learning,” she wrote on her blog. “Nor does it make me less interested in education. Separation anxiety and FOMO don’t explain my current state of mind. Rather, my regrets stem from a sense of lost opportunities. I wonder about my place in conversations related to education.”

She didn’t have to wonder for long.

On her very first day of retirement, John D. Moore, an honors student whom Funk taught 20 years ago, thanked her on Twitter for setting him on the right course.

It was the kind of thank-you that can be a career-defining moment. Though Funk, a master teacher who worked at Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho, had been teaching since 1981, she was moved to tears by this one student’s tribute.

Even if Moore hadn’t been so grateful for the guidance he received from her back in the 1999-2000 school year, Funk would still have good reason to be proud.

She helped educate a creative thinker whose Twitter bio describes him as a gamemaker, wordmaker, filmmaker and proofreader.

On her Evolving English Teacher blog, Funk’s question “Do I have anything to contribute to the larger conversation as a retired educator?” received lots of positive responses.


None was truer than this: “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”

Update: After this story published, the Twitter conversation continued with this series of tweets from Aug. 27:

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