After Spending 21 Years In Prison, A Man Surprises His Favorite Teacher By Showing Up At Her House

The sweet reunion demonstrates how teachers can have a profound impact on their students' lives.

surprise, teacher, prison @comrade_sinque / TikTok 

After a man was released from prison, one of the first things he decided to do now that he was no longer behind bars was visit one of his favorite people that he met while he was serving time.

After he arrived at the woman’s doorstep, she was overwhelmed with emotion, and the two embraced for the first time outside of prison. 

The man surprised his favorite teacher he met in prison at her doorstep after spending 21 years behind bars. 

Michael Lacey has not had an easy road over the last two decades. He spent 21 years in prison and while he was there, worked hard toward receiving his GED. His teacher, Ms. Rice, became a “shining light in a dark place” as she assisted Lacey with his studies. 


It makes sense that one of the first things Lacey did when he was finally released from prison was track down Ms. Rice and surprise her. In a TikTok video that has garnered over 2 million likes, Lacey captures the sweet interaction.

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“I just got to my favorite teacher’s house from when I was doing my 21-year prison sentence,” he says as he walks up to her doorstep. “She doesn’t know I’m coming. Let’s surprise her!” 


He places his phone down on Ms. Rice’s front steps before knocking on her front door. He explains that he met her roommate at a photography gig and the two made the plan to surprise her

When Ms. Rice opens the door, she recognizes Lacey immediately and runs into his arms for a hug. She laughs and cries as she asks him how he is doing. 

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“I’ve seen her help more than 300 inmates get their GED,” Lacey writes in the text overlay of the video. “She never judged any of us. She was a shining light in that dark place.” 


Ms. Rice offers for Lacey to come inside, and pulls him in for another hug. 

People were touched by the heartwarming reunion. 

“That’s so sweet and genuine she was truly happy to see you,” one user commented. “Priceless moment, I cried while watching this,” another user wrote. “Now that’s a good soul right there, we need more people like her!” another user added.

Other users shared their own experiences with teachers who have influenced them. 

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“My middle school art teacher adopted me when I was 15. I became a teacher because of her,” one user revealed. “I remember a teacher that was always there to listen while I was grieving after my mother passed,” another user wrote. 


Lacey’s relationship with Ms. Rice demonstrates the importance of teachers having a positive impact on their students’ lives.

Positive teacher-student relationships can result in increased cooperation and engagement in the classroom, and promote equity among the student body. 

Teachers can develop solid relationships with their students by asking them about their interests and background, getting to know them as an individual, and taking their thoughts and opinions into consideration. 

It is clear that Ms. Rice is a teacher who does her job right. Not only does she help inmates obtain a valuable education, she also demonstrates empathy and compassion toward them even if the rest of the world may not. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.