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Appreciating Teachers

Today marks the end of National Teacher Appreciation Week and I find myself wondering how many current students or former students actually took the time to say "thank you" the teachers who have guided their learning and inspired them to become more than they might have dreamed possible.

In recent years we have seen unprecedented focus on measuring what teachers achieve, codifying what they do, assessing their value. Yes, it is true that there is a science of teaching, a body of knowledge about pedagogy and methodology that can help teachers become better teachers. But there is also an art of teaching and it is the art that transforms good teachers into great teachers. It is the heart of teaching that makes it more than a job; that makes it a commitment, a vocation, an inspiration.

I have always believed that most of us who come to work in education in K-12 do so because of a teacher. Someone in a classroom somewhere sparked our curiosity, our love of learning, and our understanding that problems had to be approached with tenacity and creativity.

In my role at CSTA I've had the honor of working with so many great teachers. But I think I got here because I was taught by so many great teachers. They include Miss Brown, who saved my life by teaching me to read, Mrs. Morrow who helped me understand that math was not to be feared, and Mr. Kress who taught me the complexity and beauty of language and how to use it to explore and describe my inner and outer worlds. These and many more are remembered with gratitude and I do my best to pay it forward.

So today, I hope all teachers will take a moment to acknowledge that what they do is important and good. It makes a difference and sometimes, it saves a life. I also hope that you will take a moment to watch this video created by Google in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week. In celebration of you.

Chris Stephenson
CSTA Executive Director

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