Teacher Appreciation Week 2014

May 9, 2014
by Jordan Taylor

Raphael_School_of_AthensYou became a teacher for the love of sharing ideas, knowledge, and questions. No matter what you teach, there’s something special—almost otherworldly—when you introduce a new perspective to a student and they pause to gaze upward, trying to wrap their minds around the new idea or insight.

That’s what learning in motion looks like—and it helps drive you each and every day through all the struggles a modern educator faces. 

Teacher Appreciation Week on Twitter

Valuing teachers, and their experiential knowledge inside and outside of the classroom, doesn’t take much effort. As their roles evolve, and the landscape of modern education continues to move toward exciting and challenging changes, they need our support every day whether it’s Teacher Appreciation Week or not.

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. —John Steinbeck

Here’s a small round-up of compelling teacher appreciation tweets throughout the week. It was wonderful seeing passionate recollections from folks whose lives were greatly influenced by teachers. 

National Science Foundation 

Einstein once said: “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Perhaps we forget at times that creative expression isn’t purely limited to the Humanities or Social Sciencesbut that it also thrives in the Physical Sciences. So let’s not forget how science teachers continue to inspire curiosity and creativity. 

Edutopia This simple Japanese proverb reminds me of the importance of one-on-one instruction. It also reminds me of Raphael’s fresco The School of Athens (shown above). There will always be value in the Aristotelian tutorial model because personal attention and instruction transforms student learning in a way that can never be taken for granted.

White House Social

The White House truly values educators. Sometimes even a simple “Thank you” can go a long way in showing you care about, and respect, teachers. The White House, during the National Teacher Appreciation Week, invited 22 educators from across the country for a White House Social event.

Teaching Channel This inspirational video reminds us that teachers keep childhood curiosity alive. They work hard to instill and maintain a sense of wonder in children that doesn’t diminish as they age. Cultivating imaginative landscapes, fueled by providing students with new knowledge, helps them see the world for what it iswhile dreaming about what it can be

Microsoft Education 

Sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly what your teacher’s name was–but you’ll never forget the lasting impressions they made on you. This can come in the form of ideas they shared; knowledge they imparted; or how they instilled confidence in you by believing in your abilities.  

Temple Grandin It can be hard to put into words what a great teacher has to offer one person or the entire world. Teaching is a process of consistent revision and adaption. The best teachers out there always work hard to make sure they’re growing alongside their student. Both students and teachers make strides to know new things, and think about the world in entirely new ways. 

An End to a Great National Teacher Appreciation Week

It was great to see so many people share their memories and experiences of teachers that changed their lives in big and small ways. The final formal day of appreciation is today (May 9, 2014), but that doesn’t mean our gratitude will stop. 

For myself, some of the best teachers I encountered (from K-12 all the way through college) understood how to show me what mattered most. It wasn’t so much that they taught me what to think–but they taught me how to think. This, of course, is a skill that will serve me well during my lifelong learning journey. 

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