This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. As we often hear about such official Appreciation Weeks, those of us who stand in gratitude for all that teachers do are thinking, Just one week? So here’s to making this week just the first of many when we send teachers the recognition and appreciation they so deeply deserve.
As a student, teacher and parent I’ve had the good fortune to witness teachers’ remarkable dedication and drive. To say that teaching is underappreciated is practically a cliché, but I’ll repeat it here: when I consider the guidance I received from Dr. Culbert or Mr. Zipse in high school; the mentorship I received from colleagues during my time with Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta; or the patience that my kids’ teachers have shown, I don’t mind re-committing that gratitude.
Teaching in Helena, Arkansas, in one of the nation’s poorest counties, presented profound challenges, but my fellow educators – most of whom hailed from the region and remained there long after I moved away – provided me with ideas, support and reassurance as I sought to teach my students lessons not only in literature and composition, but life lessons as well. My students faced challenges I’d never known, and I leaned heavily on my colleagues for guidance in reaching those students.
Today I have the opportunity to visit schools and meet with teachers, dozens of them every month, helping them implement EverFi’s critical skills platforms. Visiting a broad cross-section of schools, ranging from elite academies to starkly under-resourced urban and rural schools, I see that today’s teachers face challenges similar to the ones I faced – as well as dramatically increased pressure associated with standardized testing and academic standards. I’m thus proud to be part of a company that’s working in over 5,000 K-12 schools and colleges and universities across the country, providing hard-working teachers with resources that help them teach those crucial life lessons, the ones that will help their students succeed in school and beyond.
- We should recognize our teachers every week for dozens of reasons. As I consider my teachers growing up, my fellow teachers who mentored me and the teachers I meet when visiting schools with EverFi, here are the reasons that I want to thank teachers: For working beyond material covered on a standardized test to educate and celebrate the whole student
- For adopting innovative technologies that make the learning experience more experiential and engaging
- For encouraging students to think critically in all aspects of their lives – academic, social and even digital
- For helping their students make responsible decisions that will enable them to thrive in college and in their careers
During Teacher Appreciation Week and beyond, I hope you’ll consider the teachers who have enriched your life, and who are working to engage, educate and inspire students across the country. At EverFi we work to make their lives easier and their work even more impactful; they, in turn, make our work possible.