Teach100 Mentor: Teacher Appreciation 2016 Stories

Around Thanksgiving, Teach.com did a project to learn more about teachers' day to day efforts. It was called "Thank Teachers For," and it encouraged teachers to write themselves thank-you cards to share on social media. The cards would tell stories of small acts of kindness, extra efforts, or special measures of patience that non-teachers might not know is a a part of the job. Something about attaching specific circumstances--coming in on a sick day or helping a student cope with a death in the family--paints a more vidid picture of all the ways teachers give back. That's what we were hoping to do in having teachers speak up on their own behalves.

Many people made cards (with our generator, which you can still use!), but were reluctant to share them publicly. Teachers, more than anyone, are aware that there's always more work to do: a new unit, another test, graduation followed by college acceptance worries, and all those recommendation letters to write. Who has time for a pat on the back? Why celebrate a job that's only partly done? What else is in the pipeline?

That's exactly why need Teacher Appreciation Month.

In honor of the month (May), week (May 2nd through 6th), and day (May 3rd), we asked our Teach100 mentors to share a story of a time another educator did for them. That's an easier task--to notice the work of someone else and give them credit. So enjoy these stories, but remember to let the teachers in your own life know how much their work matters to you. They work incredibly hard. Let's hear it for great teachers!


“As an angsty college English major, my Creative Writing prof. would gently write in the margins of some of the poems I turned in "Try again, Mel." Thank you for gentleness, Sister Mary Patricia.” Melanie Link Taylor, MzTeachuh

“Tom Davis was a teacher I had who made an impression on me. He encouraged me to explore my curiosities, supported me with my struggles, and celebrated my successes. He cared about me, my learning, my life, and he wanted me to find happiness within myself in order for me to be capable of helping others." Mike Lerchenfeldt, The Light Bulb

“It's hard to lower it down to one, but passionate teachers are always the most inspiring. Often, I didn't share their passions, but they really cared about what they were teaching and it would rub off on me! Professor Beach focused on Nonverbal Communication with a gusto few have for anything. Professor Osborn whose carefully planned lessons were made better by his face lighting up when discussing topics I knew he loved. In appreciation of all of these teachers, I try my best to share my passions with my students and convince them to apply their passions to my class assignments.” Carissa, mELTing Teacher's Activities

“My son has a learning disability. Reading in school as always been a issue for him. When he has in second grade, he had the most wonderful teachers who gave he time to make him feel confident in his work. She instilled in him a passion for learning that still hasn't faded as he finishes up his 6th grade year. We will forever be indebted to Mrs. B from Huron Elementary.” Todd Bloch, Sweat to Inspire

"My mother-in-law was a kindergarten teacher and she has many stories about the funny things that little children say and think. My favorite story is one day she was in the hallway of her school walking from the front office to her class. She had just picked up her paycheck and was carrying it in her hand. She came across a former student who was now in third grade. The student asked, "What's that in your hand?". She replied, "This is my paycheck. It is money that I earn for the work that I do." The student said, "Where do you work?" I think this story is interesting because it suggests that elementary students view teachers as permanent fixtures in the school who do not have a life outside of school and who do what they do just because that's the way the world works."" Peter Cincotta, Blog Title What's So Good about Public Education in America?

“My son had an excellent first grade teacher who always went above and beyond. She knew that I was going through a divorce and always went out of her way to make sure we were both informed, even calling us on the weekend to ensure we were up to date on his progress or any changes in his behavior or emotional state. I always appreciated the time she took to care for my son and to make sure not only his educational needs were met, but his emotional ones were as well.” Starr Sackstein, StarrSackstein.com

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