Picture yourself as a teacher. With your superpowers, you inspire your students to recognize their impact in this world. Through your dedication and unyielding efforts to guide, support, and unconditionally care for them, they unveil the confidence to overcome adversities and knowledge to strive to reach their dreams. All the while, they model your behaviors and motivate others, just as you taught them. Ohhh! Happy day!
This scenario reflects the vision teachers have for their students. This is because teachers and students become family. They advocate for one another’s greatness and yearn, relentlessly, for their happiness and successes.
During the summer months, teachers across the country ponder the year gone by. They worry that they ran out of time, and any potential “would’ve,” “could’ve,” “should’ve.” The memories of your children are etched in a teacher’s mind and never forgotten.
What impact might you have on your students?
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I am sharing the thoughts of some former students, who provided great insight and with their heartfelt responses.
- “My teachers provided the platform for building my future.”
- “I learned how to grow up through the guidance of my teachers.”
- “As a young adult now, I understand how important it was in my life that my teachers showed up every day to be there for me. No matter what, they never abandoned ship.”
- “They told great stories to help me connect and were empathetic and compassionate about that fact that I just wasn’t getting it.”
- “Many of my teachers went the extra mile. I know what I know today because of them and if I am stuck, I find ways to understand because of them, too.”
- “Now that I am an adult, I understand the cost of living. I didn’t realize that teachers spent their money to teach me in creative ways and to celebrate in our classroom. I can’t imagine how they afforded to buy some of the resources they purchased just to help me learn and to motivate me.”
- “My teachers were a trusted source of advice.”
- “For giving me the confidence I never had.”
- “For loving me exactly where I was.”
- “Valor. I appreciate teachers for the courage they have to choose teaching as their vocation and doing whatever it takes to help children.”
- Because even on my worst day, they made me smile.”
- “In a room full of people, my voice was heard.”
- “My teachers saved me from the person I could have become. They believed in me and I am who I am today because of them.”
These truths convey a teacher’s love and are a reflection of the passion and dedication they have for our children. A teacher’s message transcends far beyond high school graduation and is embedded into the essence of their students’ lives. For the acts described can only be achieved when a person invests in the betterment of mankind.
That is the trademark of a teacher.
Theresa Staley is a Staff Developer with Learning Sciences International. Her educational career began in 2001. She has held positions as a classroom teacher in elementary and middle school, as an intervention specialist, and worked at the district level. She is a relentless advocate for literacy and upholds an unyielding dedication to teachers and children.