Mrs. Griffith, the teacher who had taught us the poem I mentioned (and many other things,) is a good example. She had been strict and demanding, but also kind and caring and we all knew she loved us. In fact when we lined up to enter or leave her classroom no child was allowed through the door without a hug. (Yes, that would be illegal today.) We were her second generation of students and she'd taught the parents of some kids in our class.
When I was in my 20s and started working with kids I found her address in the phone book and wrote her a note about how much I appreciated her. More about 15 years after that my mother phoned me and said something I'd written was in the newsletter the school district sent to everyone in the area. It was the letter I'd written, published next to Mrs. Griffith's obituary. The letter I'd sent meant so much to her that she had treasured it for the rest of her life.
So if you remember teachers who helped you a lot and can find contact information, please thank them before it's too late and encourage your kids to do the same.