By Dr. Debra Colley
“A teacher affects eternity; he [she]can never tell where his [her] influence stops.”
We should not need a week to talk about the honor and privilege of being a teacher – we should not need a week to remind our community to “thank-a-teacher”, but given the climate in education, I think we do. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I have spent years in the education field working with teachers and professors who dedicate their lives to children, youth and their families – wouldn’t it be wonderful if the appreciation for teachers was evident in the talking points we hear at our dinner tables, our jobs, in the media, and in political circles every week. After all, most of us are where we are because of the influence and great wisdom of a teacher along the way!
May 4th-8th is a time, celebrated once a year, where we can show teachers our appreciation for their commitment to children and youth. Since 1984, the National PTA has been honoring women and men who dedicate their careers and themselves to educating children and youth. This week, I propose that we all join their efforts.
Education is complicated – no doubt. Education is challenging – for sure. Education is changing – good thing. But education, led by remarkable teachers, is the path to success ….in our community, in our family, in our career, and in our world. We may never know the impact of a teacher on our lives and the lives of our children, but we do know the professional knowledge and skill they bring into our classrooms. We do know the dedication they have to ALL children – and their belief that all children can learn and succeed. We do know their commitment to on-going professional learning and at Niagara, we know their commitment to service, especially for those most in need. We count on our teachers every day – no matter what.
So join me in celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week and thank your teachers and your professors. Rally around the teaching profession as we need the very best teachers now and in the future. Think about teaching as it is perhaps the most rewarding and influential of all – and it comes in all types of positions from the classroom, to the university, to the corporate training office and beyond.