I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all the amazing, talented, dedicated, caring, creative, energetic teachers out there. I went with my 6 year old on a field trip to a museum yesterday and witnessed two incredible instances of teachers going above and beyond. First, my son’s teacher got a new student in her classroom a few months ago. The little girl had just moved here from China and did not speak a word of English. I cannot imagine how challenging this has been for the little girl or her teacher. Yesterday, while we were in a classroom at the museum listening to a presentation about animal habitats, my son’s teacher crawled down on the floor and sat next to this little girl. She has an app on her phone that allows her to type English words into her phone and then the app will translate it into Chinese and speak it so this student can follow along when she does not understand something that is being said. Instead of this teacher sitting in the chairs with the other teachers and chaperones, she sat on the floor with the girl the entire time and continually typed things into her phone that the instructor was teaching the kids about animal habitats. It was so heartwarming to watch the little girl’s face light up as she understood the Chinese translation about what the other kids were learning in English. This little girl has no idea how very fortunate she is to have landed in this wonderful woman’s classroom for her first time ever in an English-speaking setting. The effort this teacher is putting out to help this little girl is going to help her in immeasurable ways. Her creativity in using technology in this way and her boundless energy and dedication to her students will have ripple effects into the future that are unfathomable.The second scene I witnessed is another teacher (my two other children’s former teacher) sitting with a group of first graders from her classroom. They were spread around on the floor and bench in one hallway of the museum intently writing on little strips of paper. Math is her first love, and she somehow found a way to incorporate a math learning activity into a few minutes of downtime at the museum. Then, when I walked by her and her students several minutes later, they had strips of paper that had the alphabet written all down the left side and they were trying to come up with things that they saw in the museum that started with each letter of the alphabet. Having had two children in her classroom two different years, I know how creative and passionate she is about teaching. She has this amazing way of knowing what level each of her students is on and somehow finds a way to encourage the kids who are lower functioning while also pushing the kids who are higher functioning. She has endless energy and love that she pours into the students in her classroom.
In my opinion, teachers are not appreciated nearly enough for the true, positive impact they make on our kids. The ripple effect of the love, time, commitment, encouragement and inspiration they give to their students is truly immeasurable. So to Mrs. Winkler and Dr. Mueller and all of the incredible teachers out there, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following your hearts’ calling and serving our children of today and the leaders of tomorrow.