Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
As teachers around the country are counting down the days to summer breaks (and hopefully vacations!), many people are taking the time this month to show and tell teachers how much they are appreciated. This particular week in May helps us all remember the hard work and sacrifices teachers make every single day to ensure their many students are learning, growing, and equipped to be successful in the future.
To kick off our Teacher Appreciation Week celebrations here at Where Learning Clicks, we spoke with teachers from all over the country to find out why teaching is important to them, and why they continue doing it.
Jenny, a first-grade teacher in Arizona, said
Amanda, a middle-school special education teacher in Massachusetts, said
As a teacher, you have this unique ability to help shape students and the future, and I wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to be part of the change. I want to be a person who students can see as safe and supportive; a person who sees their ability and believes in them. I strive to see the whole child in his or her learning process, and my goal is to create a safe space where students can be themselves and take risks in their learning. I hope to empower them with strategies and help them develop a desire to learn.
It is humbling to watch students grow and transform. They truly show you what is possible with determination and the right support. I find myself leaving school with a smile often, thinking back on their “lightbulb” moments or even just their jokes, and being honored by the connections we have made.
Angela, a high-school virtual Spanish instructor, said
Sadie, a high-school science teacher in Massachusetts, said
One of the ways I foster deeper relationships with students is by listening. I don’t think kids are used to somebody listening to them fully but it’s something that they want. I also get over-the-top excited when I see students for the first time each day. And I find something positive to say about them when they are doing not-so-positive things, so they can think about if the way they are acting is who they really are. Students are still developing people and, as a teacher, I can help them become the best version of themselves.
Kelly, a high-school marketing teacher in Arizona, said
Lori, a high-school virtual Spanish instructor, said
AJ, a high-school AP® and honors English teacher in New Mexico, said
In my classes, I enjoy using the Socratic discussion because I believe it nurtures students’ development of independent thinking. I think young children are naturally inquisitive, but unfortunately students begin to lose their sense of wonder as they grow up. The Socratic method forces them to think creatively about the world around them, which is important for students as they get ready to go out into the “real world.”
Michelle, a high-school virtual Spanish instructor, said
The one thing that I always hope students leave my classroom with is a sense of wonder of the world. I want to instill a passion in my students for learning about new cultures and people that are different from they are, and help them learn to appreciate differences between people and cultures, not fear them. I also want my students to know that I strive to make their learning experience valuable! Like everyone says, you rarely remember the content the teacher taught you, but you definitely remember how they made you feel.
Chris, a high-school English teacher in New Jersey, said
On my second day of teaching, a kid at the back of the room yelled out, “Yo Shakespeare, use words that we understand!” and it never left me. I have a big vocabulary, and I don’t use it to show off; I use it because those are the words that come to mind. In that moment, I learned that it doesn’t matter how much you know, if you can’t impart it in language that they know, you are failing as a teacher.
Kristin, a high-school virtual English instructor, said
It is really rewarding to see them develop into young adults and get excited about life after high school. And I hope that in their time in my class, my students accomplish not only their own goals for English, but also feel better prepared for their future because of the things they learned from me.
Katie, a high-school AP and honors English teacher in New Mexico, said
And for those who want to be teachers, I say DO IT. If you focus on your students and you are passionate about what you teach, you will love it. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life.