Thank You For Being a Teacher

As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, I wanted to take a moment to stop and say thank you to the many educators I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from.

I’m a huge fan of the Zac Brown Band, and their new album features a song called “Day That I Die”. I heard them play this song live at a concert here in Chicago a little over a year ago, and the lyrics immediately touched my heart. Specifically, I felt like he was telling my story through these lines:

“I believe that I was born with a song inside of me. Never question why, I just kept on chasing that melody. And as time goes by, it’s funny how time can make you realize we’re running out of it. On the day that I die, I want to say that I, was a man who really lived and never compromised.”

I’m not sure when it was that I decided to formally  “become a teacher”, but I believe I was born with a passion and purpose to educate others. And the more educators I meet, the more I realize they also have a similar “song” inside. I have learned so much from these educators, and “thank you” doesn’t even begin to articulate how grateful I am for having had the opportunity to learn from them.

But that doesn’t keep my from trying:)

So- THANK YOU. Thank you for inspiring students. Thank you for the long hours you put in, day after day. Thank you for all of the phone calls you have made, lesson plans you have developed, materials you have prepped, professional development sessions and graduate work you have pursued in an effort to improve upon your craft. Thank you for the materials you have purchased out of your own pocket because you are just that passionate. Thank you for dealing with well intentioned initiatives and politics that often times come hand-in-hand with teaching. Thank you for your willingness to try new things with your students even if though it makes you feel vulnerable. Thank you for coming in early, staying late and working on a Saturday to help a struggling student. Thank you for taking 15 minute lunch breaks for the past 15 years. Thank you for “taking the summers off” so you can improve your lesson plans, learn the new grading software, read up on Common Core, attend summer institutes, and come back with fresh ideas. Thank you for teaching me how to learn. Thank you for inspiring me to learn more each and every day. Thank you for pushing me to better myself by sharing your ideas with me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google + and your blog.

Lastly, I want to say thank you for being you. I realize that being an educator is not always easy. Don’t let the challenges get in the way of your “song”. The world needs you. Your students need you.

In an effort to shine a light on the amazing educators I meet in the field, I try to highlight their stories on the DEN BlogI need to do it more. I promise to do it more.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

~Dedicated to my MS History teacher Mrs. P, my HS Cross-Country Coach Ms. A, my first year teacher mentor Mrs. Meyers, My son’s pre-school teacher Iwona, my sister-in-law and 3rd grade teacher Amy, and the DEN Community. I am a better person for having had the chance to learn from you.