Perhaps a former teacher inspired you to attain specific goals or acted as a role model who motivated you to follow a certain path. Although decades may have passed since you left school, you can start a search for a former teacher to say thank you. There are a variety of resources and tools available that make it possible to find people from the past.
Find the website of the school where the teacher taught. If she's still on staff you may be able to locate her contact information through the school's staff directory; or contact the office directly and leave a message for her. If the school maintains contact with former members of staff, leave your contact information and ask the office to pass it on so that she can get in touch with you if she wishes.
Contact the school's alumni association. Some private schools have alumni groups and associations and often include former teachers as part of their activities. You can also query members of the alumni association to find out if any member has maintained contact with your old teacher.
Check social networking sites. Some teachers maintain LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts. Or you may find Facebook groups dedicated to your old school. You can search for the teacher by name. Open an account with the network and begin your search by typing the teacher's name in the search field of the site. Submit variations of her name, including her maiden name or the name together with the school where she taught.
Find your former teacher through online telephone directories. Enter as much information about the teacher as possible in the search fields. Include her first and last names as well as the town or city where she lived when you last had contact.
Contact organisations such as teachers' unions. Write, explaining that you want to find your former teacher. Provide your contact information and ask the organisation to pass it along to her.
Place a free classified ad on an Internet notice board. Public announcements on boards such as Craigslist or allow you to take your search for your former teacher public. Even if the teacher doesn't see the ad, someone who has contact with her may see it and help you to renew your contact.
Submit your teacher's name into a search engine such as Yahoo, Bing or Google. If your teacher has a Web presence, you may find her name along with contact information