by Abby Daniels, Director or Development & Communications
Like many of us, I have several teachers from my early life in school imprinted on my memory – and there’s no doubt that they’ve help shape me into the animal-loving, word-loving person I am today. One of my earliest school memories is of Mrs. Colliard, my second grade teacher. I was one of two lucky second graders chosen via lottery to take home one of the baby Finches born to Mrs. Colliard’s pet Finch. I remember being elated to bring home my new pet bird, who I named Gargamel after a character in one of my favorite cartoons. I already loved animals as a second grader, but in gifting me this new pet, Mrs. Colliard deepened my compassionate roots in caring for other living creatures.
Then there was Mrs. Van, my eighth grade teacher, who put me on a path to becoming an avid reader and communicator. I loved diagramming sentences and learning how to dissect meaning out of prose. I credit Mrs. Van with instilling in me a respect for language and for being the “go to” proofer among my friends and family members. In high school, there was my honors English teacher Brother Aquinas who painstakingly took the class through Beowulf to show us the hidden story behind the poetry. While I may no longer read Old English, I grew a deep appreciation for nuanced storytelling and love of fiction writing.
All of us have these types of stories, of teachers who have touched our lives, instilled in us integrity and compassion and put us on a particular path to achieve our potential. And with all the negative noise in the ether about today’s schools, it’s refreshing to have a dedicated week in National Teacher Appreciation Week to celebrate true heroes – our teachers.
Here are a few ways you can recognize teachers who have impacted your life and celebrate the work of today’s teachers:
- Post a shout out on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ThankATeacher and #TeacherAppreciationWeek. Check out the National PTA’s site for more post ideas.
- Donate supplies or money to your child’s teacher’s latest class project. Or ask the teacher what they could really use in their classroom – they’ll thank you for not having to dip into their own bank account again for these items!
- Hand-write a thank you letter to one of your favorite teachers. Even better, deliver it in person!
- Create a short video about a teacher who’s made an impact on your life and upload it to the National Education Association’s site for them to share to their national audience.
- Like to bake? Make a favorite treat for your child’s teacher to enjoy. Here are some more creative ideas from PTO Today.
While my pet bird Gargamel is no longer with us, I will always remember him and Mrs. Colliard as a positive influence in my life. So I thank Mrs. Colliard, Mrs. Van and Brother Aquinas, for teaching me.
Do you have a story of how a teacher impacted your life? Share your story with us in the comments below.