In 2012 Teacher Appreciation Week Is May 7th – 11th – Across America Teacher Appreciation Day is May 8.
OneWorld Progressive Institute Salutes Great Teachers Everywhere. YOU MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE. Your Students Will Remember You for Years to Come.
Great teachers change lives for generations. “I remember her 50 years later” was the winning six-word essay in the StudentsFirst 2011 Essay Contest. Such is the impact of a great teacher.
More often than not outstanding teachers are not immediately recognized by their school systems, or even by their students. Frequently, we recognize and appreciate our exceptional teachers after the fact. Sometimes it is only after encountering a poor teacher, or even more sadly a series of mediocre teachers that we recognize in retrospect that one of our past teachers was truly exceptional. For those of us who are lucky we recognize and appreciate great teachers immediately, and we make best use of their gifts and commitment. This is why parents, grandparents, babysitters and the people who are in our lives when we are very young are so important; they are in fact our first teachers, and they prepare us to learn. If we are well prepared to learn we are more likely to recognize good, great, or exceptional teachers as soon as we encounter them. Teaching is truly a noble and exceptional profession. Besides parents and early guardians of young children who else has the opportunity to have such lasting impact on our lives? This is why the people we hire to babysit our children, and the daycare centers we choose, are really very important; they are likely to leave an imprint on our children.
Haim G. Ginott said it best: “Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.”
Sadly, that is not a commonly recognized fact. Too often many go into teaching as a fall-back position, or because they could not get into other perceived-to-be more challenging or more valuable careers. Our education system in America more highly rewards teachers in high schools and colleges rather than in kindergarten and grade schools where the foundation for academic learning and success is established. Early education teachers are often seen as low on the totem pole in the recognition system. In fact, they should be among the best trained, highest skilled, most innovative and dynamic people in the education link. Teachers don’t have impact just for the year or few that a child spends in their classrooms. Teachers, good or bad, can impact a child’s entire lifetime. We should ensure that children’s first exposure to education both in the home and at school is positive, exciting, productive and forward-looking.
An old Chinese proverb says: “Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.” When that door to learning is opened for children in ways that inspire curiosity, generate questions, and make finding the answers an exciting and self-propelling adventure children become life-long learners. Such children become academically successful; they become outstanding contributors to our society, and they become inspiring leaders. Most importantly, they too become exceptional teachers.
Today, in 2012, America needs really outstanding, dedicated, skilled and committed teachers who recognize the importance of what they do. And the American public education systems across the country need to recognize the need for and the importance of well-trained, totally skilled, dedicated teachers. From the Federal level to the local district the American education system should do everything possible to improve education from the Early Childhood level to the university. Teachers should be rewarded for the importance of their work and for their achievements in the classrooms. Teachers should also be held accountable for doing a good day’s work everyday. Having a topnotch public school system means having the best educators; it is the most important investment we will ever make in our country because America’s future depends greatly on an enlightened, educated populace primed to acquire new skills, knowledge and understanding and ready for the 21st Century global society.