As the 2013-2014 school year winds down I am completing my 19th year as an adult in public education. During my career thus far I spent six years as a teacher in the classroom and have spent the past 13 years as either a school principal or a central office administrator. I’m an educator by trade and I’m very proud of that. But, I have a confession to make. I’m not a teacher. And, when I was a teacher I wasn’t a great one. I connected well with students and with families, but I never really was able to make the magic happen in the classroom that I’ve witnessed with great teachers. Thus, I recognized my abilities and put them to use in other areas in public education.
My time as a teacher helped me immensely. What I learned is that teaching is a really challenging job! It’s much more difficult day-to-day than my current job is. It’s physically and mentally demanding and the pressure for student achievement in 2014 is something I never had to experience during my time in the classroom. In my life however, I have been very lucky. I’ve spent a career around those who really make a difference. I’m married to a teacher. My sister is a teacher. I’ve been the principal of three different schools where I watched first-hand teachers making a positive difference in the lives of kids every single day. In my current role as the Assistant Superintendent of Worthington City Schools I have the opportunity to work with 19 different schools and over 700 teachers. I’m in awe of the dedication, self-sacrifice, and caring that I see everyday in our schools.
As a parent I have been incredibly blessed with teachers who work hard to connect with my children. They are teachers who structure their classroom so learning occurs at high levels and where creativity and individuality is valued. My children have teachers who will remain as trusted adults for a lifetime.
And I, like you hopefully, have teachers who I still believe shaped my own life in positive ways. At 41 years of age I don’t often remember the subject matter a teacher taught me, but I still remember specific conversations I had with Bill Wolford, Jan Fish, Tim Dove, Mark Ellwood, Gary Moore and Noel Noblette. All teachers who went out of their way to shape my life.
This week is teacher appreciation week. Really every week should be teacher appreciation week. Sure, teachers get some of their summer off. Sure, from time-to-time we all encounter teachers whose style we don’t agree with. But, let’s be real. Everyday I trust certain adults with the life of my children. I trust teachers!
This week I want to thank the teachers of Creekview Intermediate, Navin Elementary and Northwood Elementary in Marysville. I am in awe of your work! I want to thank Tami Hinz for showing me 15 years ago what an amazing teacher is like (and thus helping me realize I should maybe be an administrator.) I want to thank Mrs. Fuller, Mrs. Eakins, Mrs. Benedict and Mrs. Jarzecki at Evening Street for being difference makers with my own children this year. I want to thank my wife who works much harder than I would choose for her to as she strives to connect with students digitally. I want to thank all of those teachers who made a difference in my life and all of those teachers who come to work everyday in a high stress environment and work tirelessly to help every child see success. I want to thank Mark Hill who works to advocate for all Worthington teachers and all teachers statewide via STRS.
This week take a few minutes and reach out to the teachers who are making a difference everyday. Let them know you appreciate what they do. #ThankYouTeachers!