Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day. Our work gives us the opportunity to collaborate with many excellent and dedicated educators. We thank them for their efforts in the classroom and work at the state and local level advocating for policies to strengthen education in Colorado. We asked our Stand for Children team to reflect on some of the educators who have impacted their lives. Here’s what they had to say:
Amy: I'm particularly grateful for all of my high school English teachers: Mrs. Michaud, Mrs. Jacob, Mrs. Ellison, Mrs. Richardson, and Ms. Shultz. I didn't always prioritize academics, but these women had a way of breaking through to me with challenging materials that ignited my critical thinking skills and inquisitive nature. They helped me see the complex and exciting world beyond small-town Iowa and that inspired me to continue my education.
MaryGrace: I want to thank all the teachers at Schmitt and Goldrick Elementary for all they do to ensure all of our students achieve. School turnaround is no easy feat so thank you for your commitment to SW Denver!
Lauren: Professor Hamilton’s exceptionally high expectations and demanding workload forced me to push myself harder than I ever had in college. Looking back, I have nothing but praise for her—she knew her students could reach a higher bar, and I can confidently say that we did. At the end of the semester, I walked out of her class knowing that I could hurdle over any bar that was set for me.
Chelsea: Thank you to Ms. Griffith, my 8th grade math teacher! Ms. Griffith made sure we felt confident tackling challenging math concepts and always encouraged us to push ourselves to learn more!
Asialee: After I graduated college, I worked for two years in a New York high school. I always respected and cherished the teachers in my life, but it wasn’t until I worked alongside them that I fully realized what it means to be a teacher. I saw them pour their hearts into their work 24/7 – they arrived to school before me and always left after me, dedicating their time to grading, tutoring and after-school programming. These teachers I so deeply admired quickly became my friends and I am thankful I got the opportunity to walk a day in their shoes.
Kate: When I reflect on my time in school, the teachers of classes that were considered the “hardest” were my favorites. Whether I wanted to admit it at the time, I was much more successful when I was challenged. My middle school science teacher, Mr. Cooper had high expectations for all of us and I remember working extra hard in his class because I didn’t want to disappoint him. He would walk around the room and stand in front of each student’s desk to tell us how we did on our assignments or tests. I never wanted to have a conversation about not doing well so I put in the work to make sure that didn’t happen.