This is Jessica Langer. She’s been an educator for a decade, with her most recent teaching job being a semester-long course in marketing and creative industries at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Langer was offered a full-time professor job at Centennial College soon after, so this will be her first and final semester at Ryerson.
But it’s been one of her most memorable, and inspiring, group of students so far, she told BuzzFeed News.
Langer said she always sent thank-you emails to her students after the classes ended, but things felt different this time. “These students are brilliant and they’re also so anxious,” she said. So she took extra time to draft an apt message for them. This is what she emailed her students last week:
Langer said it was important to her to let these students know, amid their anxieties about their futures and the world, she’s in their corner.
“Statistically, at least some of my students are likely to be in home situations where they don’t have an advocate, she said.
“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,” she added.
Langer got a ton of responses to the emails. Students told her that it was exactly what they needed to hear, she said. But one student, who asked to remain anonymous, broke into tears upon reading it. “I’ve been feeling really stressed out,” the student told BuzzFeed News.
The fourth-year Ryerson student said she was expecting a generic email at first, but got emotional at how “genuine” it was.
“It really did feel like she cared about her students,” she said.
The line that really touched her was Langer saying, “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.”
Thousands of people who found and retweeted the email were deeply moved by it too.
People are thanking the student for sharing the email with the world, and some are even planning on printing it out to keep and refer to in times of need.
Langer told BuzzFeed News she ultimately hopes the email will serve as reminder to people that “no one is born knowing how to be.”
“We all have setbacks, even the people who seem to have it all together,” she said.
“But your value doesn’t depend on how lucky you are, or how successful you are, or how famous or skillful or rich… You matter,” she stressed.
Her fourth-year student said the email has inspired her to keep in touch with Langer.
“It made me want to keep her contact info for the future in case I needed someone to talk to,” she said.