Teacher appreciation

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In the US, for the entire month of May, people are encouraged to acknowledge and show appreciation for teachers who have influenced their lives. Although the first week is the main focus, I think it is wonderful to have a month dedicated to appreciating teachers. While I always felt the appreciation of my students and their parents, there seemed to be little shown in the community beyond that and it was often a struggle even to get World Teachers’ Day acknowledged in some places I worked.

In previous posts here, here, and here, for example, I acknowledged teachers who had a positive impact upon my learning and my teaching. In this post I even shared a letter of appreciation written by a parent about me. It was lovely to read Emily Case’s Reflections on Teacher Appreciation Week and the acknowledgements she received from students and parents.

From time to time I have shared the work of other inspiring teachers, and discussed with many, teachers who had influenced them. I was pleased to read this email in which President Obama honoured his fifth grade teacher, Ms Hefty. He said that she made everyone in the class feel special, and reinforced the value of empathy, a message which he carries with him every day.

Thank you to my wonderful students, and their lovely Mum who made this for me!

Thank you to my wonderful students, and their lovely Mum who made this for me!

He wrote of librarians and their important role in bringing people and books together, and of programs to provide books for those who might otherwise not have access. He acknowledged that reading for just 20 minutes a day can have a powerful effect upon one’s life. I’m delighted to say that on those issues the President and I agree. They are familiar topics on my blog.

For me there is nothing like passionate educators sharing their love of learning and the joy they receive from working with children.  I have to admit that it gives me goosebumps; but I am a softie at heart.

In this post I am delighted to share with you a TEDX talk by teacher Lisa Lee who shares her passion for education and admits, as I also have, that she has learned more from her students than they ever learned from her.

In the video she shares her belief that

“Every single person has the capacity to make a difference”

She also discusses the Common Core, but perhaps not in the form those words may conjure up for you. She speaks of the common core in the heart, and says it must come first. I can do nothing other than agree with her words:

The common core – everyone one of us needs to be “valued, respected and accepted and seen as who we are”

I hope you enjoy the video.

Please share your thoughts and, if you care to, your appreciation for a teacher who inspired you. As President Obama said it can be a teacher who inspired you, a book that changed you, or a college that shaped you.”

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback.

22 thoughts on “Teacher appreciation

  1. macjam47

    Norah, what a wonderful post. My first experience with teachers was when I was in Kindergarten. I clearly didn’t want to be in school without my mom. Mrs. Sponzelli was so understanding and arranged for me to have a visit each day with my brother Mike who was in first grade and made sure that I was always partnered with my best friend and neighbor, Tim. I had never been away from Mom before and it was extremely difficult for me. With hugs from Mrs. Sonzelli and the comfort of Mike and Tim, it wasn’t long until I adapted. There were many other fantastic teachers and only one that could be labeled a bad teacher. Then when my children went to school, I encounter many more teachers who should all have a “Best Teacher” award. The wonderful and inspiring teachers far outnumbered the lesser. I get frustrated when people talk negatively about the educators. They are, without a doubt, the heart and soul of our children’s education.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Mrs Sponzelli sounds like an awesome early childhood teacher. I’m so pleased she put you at ease. I’m pleased too that you and your children had positive experiences with teachers overall. It is true that most teachers are great and do a wonderful job. It is lovely to hear you state it so enthusiastically. On behalf of all teachers, thank you. xx

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. Sarah Brentyn

    There’s so much I could say here from the worst teachers to the best – I’ve had them all. Then on to my own teaching and the students I know I reached to the ones I know I didn’t. I could write an entire book on this. And…there’s a Thought Bubble. Just like that. *pop* I appreciate my favorite teacher/blogger: Norah. 📚

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Oh Sarah, you are so sweet. Thank you. I very much appreciate your thought bubble. You’ve got a book to write next time you’re stuck for an idea! 🙂 (Kidding. I know you’ve no shortage of ideas!)

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  3. Sacha Black

    Gah, I need an entire day to watch all the TED talks. I love that you recommend the best ones. I just need more time! There’s always one teacher, the one that’s special that changes you. I remember my teacher, English teacher unsurprisingly! :p

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      I post about the TED talks that appeal to me. There are many more about science (some of which seem like fiction) that would appeal to you. I’m pleased that English teacher inspired you to write!

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        1. Norah Post author

          I listen to them when I am cycling and running on my Wii fit, which unfortunately doesn’t happen enough; or ironing, which happens far too frequently, but again, probably not often enough! 🙂

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  4. Bette A. Stevens

    A wonderful post, Norah. I’ve had many wonderful teachers over the years and only hope that I have touched the lives of my students as they have mine. Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Month to you, a special teacher I continue to admire! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Bette. I’m sure you have inspired many students over the years, and continue to do so with you writing. The thought of making a positive difference to the lives of others is what keeps us teachers going, isn’t it?
      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them.

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  5. Charli Mills

    Thank you for making me aware of an appreciation in my own nation that I was unaware of until now! I was also thinking how sad it is that our US presidential elections overshadow our current president’s message of empathy and appreciation. You encouraged me to reach out to my 7th-grade teacher who gave me the inspiration to write creatively. Thank you for that! Although he passed away, I hold that appreciation in my “core values.” I also appreciate Laura Ingalls Wilder for getting me interested in history and reading. And I appreciate Carrol College for the liberal arts education I received and for Dr. Stottlemeyer who pushed me to write better than my first drafts.

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Charli. It was wonderful to read of those teachers who inspired you. They may have inspired you to write but you took up the challenge and express the world through the uniqueness of your eyes and voice. The richness of your language is so evocative; you create an image that comes to life before our eyes. I’ve read books with passages of description that I’ve skipped over for their boring and mundane view. Yours I could never tire of, for the beauty and magic they create. How many others will you inspire with your words? The number will never be known but it will be many.

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Annecdotist

    I think there’s a parallel between teachers learning from their students and therapists learning from their clients – definitely a two-way process. Now, it might be that I’m especially curmudgeonly, but I’ve wondered about this often before, because I don’t think I ever had a particularly inspiring teacher, certainly not one that connected with me as an individual in a way that fostered my development as a person. So, like Lisa and Bec, I’m picking you as this month’s teacher to celebrate.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I appreciate your kind words, Anne. I have learned much from you with our discussions. You always have interesting ways of looking at things – very insightful. It’s great to have the opportunity for honest and open discussion.
      I’m pleased you said what you have about your teachers because I feel the same about those from my school days. I can think more of the negatives I learned, than of the positives. But some of those negatives I’ve changed around to turn into positives for those I have taught. I don’t want to think about how many of them may not be able to name an inspiring teacher. But I guess we can’t inspire everyone, so I should be happy with those whose lives I have touched in a positive way. Thank you for your ongoing encouragement and support.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. TanGental

    There is a line that runs through my education or teachers to whom I owe different debts, from the inspiring Mr Hole in my primary school to Geoff Boun my history and politics teacher when I was 16-18. But there were also teachers who did things in ways I realised didn’t work for me and from whom I also learnt valuable lessons earlier than I might otherwise have done so, if you can be inspired in a negative sense they too. Nice idea Norah.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Geoff, and for acknowledging your teachers. Yes, sadly, we do learn from those negative experiences as well,don’t we. Sometimes we learn things that we can put to good use, and sometimes those things harm our progress. I’m pleased you did okay out of them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. Lisa Reiter

    We would all do well to count our blessings rather than focus on the negatives as seems an increasing trend in Western Society. I am a believer in continuous improvement but the need to stand back, reflect and celebrate what is good in our lives would make us all happier so I love the idea of taking special time to appreciate teachers. What a lovely idea in the US which in turn surely must inspire teachers to be their best.
    Norah you are always inspiring so I’ll pick you to appreciate today! Lovely post, Lisa xx

    Liked by 2 people

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