We’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week this week, so we asked staff to share a reason why they appreciate teachers—whether that is a specific event or person or just a general feeling of gratitude. See below for their answers!
“Ask any parent about the schools their children attend and they will tell you that they hope they will have the best teachers there! My children are young adults now, but I still appreciate (and so do they) the exceptional teachers that they had. There is one who especially stands out. Both of my children were fortunate to have a calculus teacher, Mr. Dan Schermer, who made a tough subject not only understandable but enjoyable. Definitely not an easy task! It takes some special skills to have high school students actually want to take a course like calculus. Mr. Schermer recently retired. I occasionally run into him and he always asks how my kids are doing. He still genuinely cares about the students who passed through his classroom.” –Event and Executive Coordinator, Anne Boley
“This photo is of me with KDP member Roxanne Williams, second grade teacher and Induction Coordinator for the IlliniCentral School District. I had participated in an all-day mentor training where I learned to appreciate every person in that room for giving up most of their summer to attend workshops to learn about differentiated instruction and common core and to write brand-new units for their classes for fall so that they were differentiated and aligned with common core. On top of that, they had chosen to mentor a new teacher the next school year and had already been in contact with that person to help him or her get started with planning!” –New Teacher Advocate Managing Editor, Sally Rushmore
“Rarely does a day go by that I don’t think about Mrs. Dillion, my sixth grade teacher. She was a teacher who expected a great deal from her students but who also cared deeply about them. At a time when I needed it the most, she took an interest in me, even taking me to the store to purchase my science fair materials. She left me with one critical message, ‘You can do whatever you want to do, so be sure to always set your goals high.’ What powerful words coming from the teacher I adored. I continue to act on her advice and am deeply grateful for the positive impact that she had on me and countless other students throughout her 40 years of teaching. Teachers truly do touch the future. “–Executive Director, Faye Snodgress
“Creating a multiple-step Rube Goldberg machine, dissecting fish bought at the farmer’s market, and wiring electricity into a Barbie tent are some of my fondest memories of fourth grade. Mr. Chassagne, my fourth grade teacher, made learning fun while simultaneously raising not only his expectations of us as students, but also our expectations of ourselves. Mr. Chassagne and many other wonderful teachers are the reason that I myself chose to start my career as an educator. Thank you to all of you for making your classrooms fun, safe sanctuaries and for helping students reach their full potential.” –Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator, Katie Heath
“Coming from a family of educators and school-aholics, I know that teachers don’t take their job lightly. My father, brother, and sister taught; my mother is a school nurse; and I even married into a family of teachers (husband’s mom, dad, and sister). I have been constantly surrounded by people who believe they have the greatest profession on Earth and show this every day by instructing, encouraging, and inspiring those around them. I love where that I have landed in the nonprofit world, working for the people I respect the most. Five of the people in this family photo are teachers, and my mom is the district nurse.” –Southeast Regional Chapter Coordinator, Laura Perkins
“So many of my teachers have impacted me, but if there’s one who rises to the top, it has to be Brother Eugene Phillip. Brother taught psychology and advanced US History at my high school, and he had a reputation for being an all-around disciplined guy and very tough teacher. In fact, he never told you when quizzes or even tests were going to take place—he wanted you to be prepared for them every single day you entered the classroom (if that isn’t a life lesson, I don’t know what is!). One of my proudest moments was when he called me a “tough number,” a compliment he reserved for those who were particularly diligent in his classes. He passed away a few years ago, and at that time, I realized just HOW many students and teachers felt the exact way I did. He expected the very best from every student he taught, and in turn, every student gave him their very best. He truly is a teaching legend, and I feel very lucky to have learned from and known him.” –Director of Marketing and Communications, Laura Stelsel
“Who else is going to inspire a love of reading in students around the world? Who else is going to tell developing minds that they’re more than a test score? Who else is going to help students understand their difficult math problems and why solving them is actually helping them learn life skills? Who else is going to inspire the next generations to be good stewards of our planet? Who else—but a teacher? I am so thankful for the time and energy that my teachers spent on me personally; it is a debt I will never be able to repay.” –Assistant Director of Membership & Chapter Services, Chris Beaman