professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Teacher Appreciation Week

I read Arne Duncan's remarks about how he and his staff are spending time this week acknowledging the efforts of teachers. Duncan plans to call some and congratulate them on their good work. Some of his staffers will shadow a teacher for a day to understand better the work of a teacher. Gee, how noble (yes, insert sarcastic font in the preceding sentence).

I am going to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by sending teachers free books and audio. I did the first giveaway this morning and will continue later in the week. But that is still not enough, is it? I could just wring my hands, but that does not get us anywhere. So, instead, I will talk about the incredible teachers who have helped me not only become who I am today, but helped me survive difficult times along the way.

My first grade teacher, Sr. Anne Marie (yes, I spent quite a few years in Catholic schools), sent me to demonstrate how to do times tables in the second grade classroom. I think that is when I decided that teaching was something I would love to do more often. In high school, it was Sr. Melanie diPietro who delivered a powerful lesson to me about writing and working hard at writing. Dick Abrahamson was and still is the model of the professor I hope to be one day. He is retiring this year, and I feel sorry for the folks who will not have the chance to take a course from him.

Beyond these teachers, though, are the teachers who are part of my PLN. I fear singling some out because each and every one of you informs, supports, and encourages me on a daily basis. I love your tweets and Facebook status updates. Reading your blogs makes me laugh or cry or just recall the wonder of working with kids. The books and articles you write remind me of your intelligence and your humanity. And I include librarians here, too. Someone told a librarian recently that they did not consider him to be a teacher. Not me, folks. Librarians are part and parcel of education. The librarians who fed me books, who worked with my classes when I came to the school library, and with whom I have had the privilege of serving on committees have done so much in my PLN and that of others. One of the most serendipitous events in my life occurred when I landed in an LS program as a teacher. BOY, have I learned a lot! And there are others in the schools to whom I am incredibly grateful: counselors, staff, administrators. The list can go on and on and on.

So, thanks to all of you. During this Teacher Appreciation Week it is my HOPE (VISION) that we extend our thanks beyond this week, that we recall all of the dedicated wonderful educators who taught us not only English and math, etc. but also life lessons through their courage, their passion, their knowledge, and their willingness to share it all with us freely.
Tags: appreciation, teachers, thanks
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