OKTOY Blog: National Teacher Appreciation Week

National Teacher Appreciation Week

As this is National Teacher Appreciation week, it seems appropriate to seek the thoughts of our nation’s leader when it comes to teachers:

“It gives us a chance to acknowledge some folks who so often are giving so much and let’s face it, are not always given a lot in return. Every day… they give their students their all—their knowledge, their creativity, their focused attention, their love. They empty the tanks for their kids. Then they get up the next morning, and they do it all over again. Today is our chance to say thank you, to let these educators know that we see how hard they work. We know the difference they make in their students’ lives and… in the life of our country. Today is a chance to reaffirm how important teachers are to our nation, not just these teachers but all teachers.”
  – President Barack Obama in an address recognizing the 2015 State Teachers of the Year

I spent the last week in Washington, D.C. kicking off National Teacher Week with the class of 2015 State Teachers of the Year. Together we spent time at the American Research Institute, the U.S. Department of Education and the Smithsonian, discussing education policy, teacher leadership and the future of our profession.

On Wednesday, April 29, we were fortunate enough to get a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the White House. At a special ceremony in the Rose Garden, President Obama presented to the nation the State Teachers of the Year and the recently announced 2015 National Teacher, Shanna Peeples, a high school English teacher from Amarillo, Texas.

Prior to the ceremony each of us met briefly with the President within the Oval Office for a photo. The whole experience was a highlight of our time together. I think I speak for the group in stating that as powerful of a memory it was to meet the President of the United States within the Oval Office, the greater gift came with the formation of bonds and connections with other individuals who share a similar passion and calling in life.

 America is hungry for teachers like these, which is why we’ve got to acknowledge them – because every school has teachers like these and we don’t give them enough credit.
   –President Obama

As President Obama stated, our schools are full of great teachers. Countless teachers have impacted me as a student, as a new teacher and still today in my 13th year as an educator. Without the efforts of those teachers I wouldn’t be where I am today. This week is set-aside for us to acknowledge those teachers, and I couldn’t be any prouder to be a part of a profession such as this one.








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Last updated on May 6, 2015