“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. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” John Steinbeck

As a parent, I have seen the amazing impacts a great teacher can have on a child. I’ve shared before how the right school and teachers changed the trajectory for one of my children.  

I’m sure each of us can think about a teacher that made a positive impact in each of our lives. For me, I am fortunate that I have been the beneficiary of many extraordinary teachers. During my elementary years, I attended a small school, and I remember the names of every one of my teachers from kindergarten through sixth grade. That’s pretty amazing since elementary school was a lifetime ago, but these teachers left their mark. I also remember their comments on my report card which were even more meaningful than the letter grades.

As a former school leader, I know firsthand the challenges to cultivate and retain strong teachers. Ongoing professional development, consistent and meaningful feedback, opportunities for personal and career growth are all important considerations. So is having a strong culture that is supportive of staff and recognizes the important roles of teachers to the success of their students and the school.

Today marks the end of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10, 2019).  Let’s be sure to show our gratitude for the amazing teachers in our lives not only this week, but every day. Make sure you’re recognizing and rewarding hard work as teachers are our most valuable asset in our schools.

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