We Appreciate You!

By on May 3, 2016

It is an honor working with so many amazing teachers across the United States. I say this every time I am in a room of educators. Teaching is a wonderful profession. Sure it is hard and draining at times, but the reward of seeing inspired students succeed makes it all worthwhile. I get the best of both worlds. I work with fantastic students every day and I have the privilege of working with incredibly talented teachers all over the country. What can I say, I love my job...(s).

This week, I would like to acknowledge teachers for all they do for students around the world. You make a difference every day and change students in ways you may not see tomorrow, but the change you inspire is real and lifelong.

In the beginning of the school year, I ask students to write about people who have made a positive impact on their lives. I guide them to think about coaches, teachers, friends, mentors, youth leaders, etc. I call the assignment, “Come to the Table.” Students get to fictitiously invite four people to a table that have positively influenced them somehow. My one rule: these people have to be real and you have to know them well.

My students write about each person and explain why he or she has a seat at this special table. Every year, many of my students invite their former teachers to sit at their tables. My former high school English teacher Mr. Harrison belongs at my table. He was a passionate teacher who loved learning and modeled how to live passionately. Even though Mr. Harrison never directly gave me advice or helped me through a difficult time, he still made an impact. He was consistent, fair, passionate, and friendly. He was a good role model for his students.

You see, what we do in our classrooms, what we say, and how we treat our students can impact a life in ways we can’t possibly predict. We have that responsibility. And we take the job seriously.

Stop and think about how many lives you have reached since you first started teaching. I have taught approximately 1,300 students in my 14 years as a public school teacher. 1,300 students! Teachers don’t just "go to work." They call together a group of bright young people and plant seeds that grow for a lifetime. They take young minds and inspire them to see the unimaginable. They believe in students and encourage them to face their fears and to never give up. Teachers go to work to make a difference.

We thank you!

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Literacy Standards In Action

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