Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Taking a break from the negatives and criticisms in my usual posts, I’d like to take this time to talk about teachers. Since it is Teacher Appreciation Day/Week, it’s nice to think back on all the influences I’ve had in my life that helped shape me into who I am today.

Steve Perkins - Indiana Teacher of the Year 2014

Steve Perkins – Indiana Teacher of the Year 2014

I don’t think enough people realize that being a teacher is such a huge responsibility. they have to form and follow a lesson plan that may not always be their choice material, teach their students from those lessons, adapt each lesson pertaining to the individual students, administer assessments, correct, inspire further learning, discipline, and be a support system to hundreds of students, every year. It’s the teachers that are a major part of the team that helps shape future generations by not only providing them with the knowledge they need to move up in life, but a way to understand and apply that knowledge.

Now, not every single teacher may be the best at what they do; I can remember a few I’ve had over the years that simply didn’t connect. Most people have those stories about a teacher they hated because of how they treated certain students, or a class they wanted to drop because the teacher made it seem so difficult for them.

Sue Creekmore - Florida

Sue Creekmore – Florida

But most people also have those stories about those amazing teachers that seemed to breathe life into their subjects, or cultivated the best and most creative side of a person, or went the extra mile to help you understand a lesson, or simply made you feel like you weren’t alone.

So to my 2nd grade teacher who felt like everyone’s mom, and made the new girl feel welcome (and also contacted me when I was about to graduate college to congratulate me), to my 7th grade science teacher who was weird and funny in all the best ways and made science classes seem like a field trip (and made me realize that I actually really liked learning), to the high school English teacher (who wasn’t actually my English teacher, but my acting/drama teacher) who helped me hone my love of the arts, and to my 12th grade math teacher who was tough but fair, understanding, and garnered the respect of every student he had (and even got me, the English nerd, to understand calculus), I say the biggest thank you.

Even to all those teachers I had in between that may not have been my favorites, thank you for doing what you did (and some of you still do), to help cultivate my education experience.

Even though you chose a profession that sometimes leaves you underpaid, overworked, underappreciated, underrepresented, hated, feared, pranked, and makes you work with the youth of America, thank you for doing it anyway. You are a special type of individual for being able to handle this job, and I salute you for doing it.

So, what are some of your memories of your favorite teachers? I’d love to hear about them!

Tracey Woodard
Tracey Woodard
tracey.woodard@franklinfound.org

<p>Our Senior contributor Tracey Woodard graduated in 2010 from Bucknell University with a BA in English – Creative Writing and Theater. An advid believer in the importance of public school education, she uses a mix of personal and learned experiences to express her thoughts on today’s most pressing education issues. She currently resides just outside of Philadelphia, PA.</p>

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