The promise this inspiring teacher has been keeping to his students for four decades


Retired English high school teacher Bruce Farrer, via the National Post 

Retired high school teacher Bruce Farrer turned an unusual writing assignment for his students into an unusual promise—and the 72-year old has been keeping it for more than half his life.

As told to the National Post in Canada, the lovely story began with unexpected homework from Farrer: handwrite a ten-page letter to their grown-up selves two decades into the future. In return, the English teacher put himself on the hook to safeguard the letters entrusted to him, track down those former high school freshmen all those years later, and then actually mail the missives back.

Fulfilling that promise has become a lifelong act of devotion by Farrer. Why dedicate so much time and effort into it? In addition to the delighted surprise and excitement of his former students, Farrer explained to the National Post the value of demonstrating of lasting human connections:

“We say we’re going to do something, whether it’s in a marriage, or with our kids or maybe even with our organizations we join, and some little thing ticks us off and we think ‘Enough of that, I’m walking out.’ … I think it’s important to have a sense of commitment, and maybe in a minor way, the kids see I value that.”

And that sense being reaffirmed by a teacher, who can influence young people’s lives and development in profound ways, makes the kept promise especially meaningful. It’s a great idea, and as one of his former student said, “I hope other teachers do it.”

For details, see “Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves,” National Post.

Also check out this video: “Bruce Farrer, thank you for inspiring us.”