To My Teacher Who Doubted Me

Irina Lessne
3 min readMay 21, 2020


Dear Mr. C,

Hey, remember me? Irina? Yeah, the girl you said who would never amount to anything and would only be able to get into community college. It’s me. I’m here to tell you a few things, so listen carefully. When you told me I wouldn’t be able to attend a four-year college, that only made me even more determined to prove you wrong. Yes, I have a learning disability, but that does not limit my possibilities or put a damper on my potential.

I’m the girl who always loved school yet whose grades never reflected my intellect. I studied my hardest but always struggled with test taking, especially when it came to multiple choice assessments. I knew the correct answers but would second guess myself if I penciled in 3 “B’s” in a row because in my mind that simply couldn’t be correct.

When it came to essay tests, however, I always got top marks and did much better when I was able to explain myself rather than responding to multiple choice, fact-driven questions.

You see, when you told me (multiple times, might I add) that Montgomery College was bound to be the next step in my educational career, you crushed my spirits a little bit but also motivated me to soar past your expectations and achieve bigger and better things. I want to add that there is nothing wrong with going to community college.

It just wasn’t for me. I knew I was destined to go to a four-year school and even when I made my list, you tried to tell me that my GPA (3.2, not half bad) wasn’t high enough and that my skills weren’t advanced enough to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

That’s where you’re wrong, Mr. C. I’ve had to overcome obstacles my entire life. I spent the first year of my life in an orphanage and have spent my whole life struggling with an invisible, but ever-present learning disability. You limited me based on my diagnosis but I’m here to tell you something.

I did go to a four-year institution.

I got all A’s and B’s without any assistance. I even made Dean’s List. I was in a sorority and was involved with a fitness and nutrition club. I did all these things and more and it’s all thanks to you.

When you told me I wouldn’t be able to attend a four-year college, that lit a fire under my butt and made me even more determined to prove you wrong. I hope you realize I was successful in college and I hope you don’t deter other individuals, like me by convincing them that they aren’t able to amount to anything simply because they have a learning disability or are in resource classes.

I hope you know that I am where I am, in part, because of you . . . because of your belief that I wasn’t college material.

So as I sit here and prepare to begin my Master’s Degree in Professional Creative writing, I think of you and I smile, because I am exceeding not only your expectations, but mine as well.

You may have limited me but at the end of the day, I have learned something very important . . . that I am in fact, limitless and you can’t take that away from me even if you try.


A Student Who Has Risen Above Your Sub Par Expectations



Irina Lessne

Just a girl with a cup of coffee in one hand and a notebook in the other hoping to make an impact in the world