To the Teachers Who Inspire and the Teachers We Admire: Thank You!
May is National Teacher Appreciation Month – a time to admire, reflect on and show our appreciation for the incredibly challenging and fruitful work that teachers do every day.
Teachers are tasked with not only preparing us for academic success, but success in life and our careers as well (and helping us become responsible, thoughtful humans). Not one of us can say we’d be where we are today without the guidance and motivation of at least one inspirational educator who pointed (or pushed) us in the right direction. With that said, we’d like to send a heartfelt thank you to all the teachers out there. You deserve to be celebrated every day for all the hard work you do!
We also want to take a moment to acknowledge some of the teachers who have impacted our lives and inspired us to create resources for educators like those we celebrate this - and every - month. Members of our LearnPlatform team have shared their own stories below, highlighting and thanking the teachers who have made a difference in their lives. Enjoy.
Joyce Yu - Statistician
I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the teachers who have so generously given me their time. From Yung Wing Elementary, Wagner, Hunter High, Duke, UNC and now NC State, there is no way I could have gotten here on my own. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Growing up as a first-generation American, I was so caught up in the race of getting over the next hurdle, getting into middle school, high school and college, that I didn’t realize the value of having such great teachers. I definitely took many of them for granted and my parents, as immigrants, never failed in reminding me how lucky I was to have the luxury of going to school.
It wasn’t until my senior year, when my student government advisor, Dr. Herbert, gave me the recommendation letter he wrote me for college, that I realized how right they were. “I’m not supposed to show this to you, but you already got in, so I think you should read it.” It was a paragraph long, and all it did was state the facts; no flowery language, just what I had done as a high school student. He wanted me to know that I had done it, and earned it, on my own. Maybe so. But I could never have accomplished it without him and the care of every teacher who simply gave it all to a student who asked for their help. So to Dr. Herbert (and many more), I want to say “thank you.” You’ve changed my life.
Archana Dharmavaram - Product Manager
I remember the time when I stood first in my lower kindergarten class, and my parents thought I would grow up to be a rocket scientist. Unfortunately, everything started going downhill for me from then on. I liked being on the playground more than in the classroom. But, like everything in life, there was a turning point, and that point came in sixth grade when I met my math teacher, my guru, Bramhaji sir. He inspired me to be curious, to work hard, to learn and to always do the best I could. More than the subject, I learned life skills that made me who I am today. He truly was a leader who inspired his students, not by instructions or words, but by actions and by leading the way. He would go out of his way to extend classroom hours for weak students like me so we could get personalized attention. His weapon was not fear or discipline, but his passion and empathy for students. I will always be grateful! Thank you, Bramhaji sir.
Tina Avis - Customer Success Associate
It took me a while to come out of my shell as a kid. I was quiet and shy and hated when any type of spotlight was put on me. I was a good student, but was completely comfortable flying below the radar. When I think back on my favorite teachers, they were always the ones who gently built my confidence up, let me shine in my own way and inspired new interests and made me discover talents I didn’t know I had.
Mrs. Dornblaser, Mrs. Grube and Mr. Salazar were my elementary, middle, and high school art teachers. They always pushed me to try new things and gave me the confidence to show my work in school and district art shows. Mr. Allio, Mr. Favinger and Mrs. Walters were beloved science teachers who encouraged me to make mistakes and be curious. Mr. Kazakos was not only my high school gym teacher, but also my soccer coach. After seeing me kick a field goal on the football field during gym class, he encouraged me to try out for the soccer team. I had never played soccer before and was hesitant, but he persisted. I made varsity as a freshman.
My teachers opened doors for me that I never knew were possible and I am eternally grateful for their guidance. They were an integral part of my life and laid the foundation for me to embark on a long career as an elementary school teacher. Because of their contributions, I credit them with not only my continued passion for education, but also the confidence to learn from my mistakes and fearlessly try new things.
Sarah Williams - Marketing Communications Event Specialist
As a child of an educator, I always had this added pressure to perform better than others. Luckily, I was told to not only get a great education and perform well, but to have fun and find out what I love. For me, it was music and thanks to my first grade music teacher, Mrs. Teresa McCollum, I was introduced to so much through music.
She taught me that music was everywhere and anywhere I went! She introduced me to different cultures through music, whether it was unique instruments or new songs and dances, my eyes and ears were truly opened to the world. So thank you Mrs. McCollum for teaching me how to find the beat of my own drum, sing my own melody and embrace all differences and cultures of music. You are truly an inspiration!
Thank you again to all of the amazing teachers out there. LearnPlatform was built by educators, for educators and relies on feedback from the people who use it most. If you’d like to get more involved and help shape the platform, join the Lea(R)n education advisory board. If you would like to get better connected to your community of educators, join LearnLeaders to participate in regularly scheduled video calls to discuss your challenges and successes in managing and measuring edtech. When educators can share their ideas, experiences and expertise in a timely manner, problems get solved!