As we approach the end of the year, we wanted to express gratitude to our everyday heroes, teachers. Your dedication inspires every single one of us on the DonorsChoose team, and we wanted to send you these letters of appreciation and gratitude.
What would you like to say to teachers as they head into one of the busiest seasons of the year?
Dear teachers, This time of year is frequently referred to as "magical". The lights go up, the treats are baked, people are kind to each other, everyone seems to be looking forward to something. I wish that more people knew that teachers like you make this magic happen 365 days a year. This is absolutely a special time of year and I hope that you're able to cross every single thing off of your to-do list this season. But, if you're not able to, I hope that you know that you've already brought so much light and love to your students this year. Thank you for being magical when the rest of us aren't looking.
Dear Teachers, A thank you wouldn’t be enough for all that you do within those classrooms. Teaching one student is hard, so I can only imagine how hard it is to teach a classroom full of students who are all unique, learn in different ways and are all on different levels. I’m impressed by how you go home and your work doesn’t stop there, and how you all go above and beyond to provide amazing tools that can help each of your students individually. I’m impressed by how creative and caring you all are because to be a teacher isn’t just about knowing how to teach, you have to relate to and understand all the children in your classroom to create trust before the learning begins. Most of all, I’m impressed by your ability to leave such important marks on children’s lives that they will remember and cherish forever.
What impact has a teacher had on your life?
Selena, Customer Support Specialist
My high school Latin teacher was not expecting to be a high school Latin teacher. After studying Classics at Harvard, he went to Boston University for a doctorate in the same field. While he was a graduate student, he served as a substitute teacher for a Latin class at my public high school-- and he never left. I found out this background after I graduated-- having studied Latin with him for four years-- but it came as no surprise. Dr. Fiveash always taught with the same perspective that mirrored his journey to the classroom: aim high, dig deep, and look beyond the traditional path. In his classroom, we were never limited to an education capped at the curriculum and a grade level. Our studies of the Latin language were embedded in literature, art, geography, anthropology, humor, and hubris. Dr. Fiveash never shied away from the context of what we studied, diving into the true cultural roots of what we were studying, into what others may have found too mature or uncomfortable. He spoke to us and taught us like we were adults, capable of understanding nuance and binding our own conclusions to the work in front of us. He taught me so much more than conjugations and vocabulary-- he taught me to view potential through a kaleidoscope and to see the capacity of students, curriculum, and subject matter far beyond a worksheet or grade. Later-- when I had my own students to teach-- I brought much of his approach to my own perspective on education, in any subject. Dr. Fiveash trusted potential over anything else-- and he chose to devote his life to ensuring that I, and four decades of other students, saw the extent of their own potential.
What inspires you most about the work teachers do?
Dear teachers, I’m really inspired by the lengths you’re willing to go for your communities. Every time you reach out to our team, that’s a person who cares so much about their students that they’re willing to do more work outside of their full-time jobs, coaching schedules, mentoring groups, volunteer work and more! You are so dedicated to making our community a better place, and it’s an honor to help you out along the way. I’m also inspired by the small ways you find to celebrate success. When I’m working on a particularly gnarly order that’s gone wrong somehow, I can always count on you to be graceful under pressure and find small wins to celebrate along the way. It’s a good reminder that we’re all in this together!
How has a teacher in your life inspired you to work at DonorsChoose?
Dear DonorsChoose teachers, You are doing it. You are patient, you are thoughtful, you are brilliant, and you are showing up for students across the country every day in ways that matter. When I think about what it means to teach in 2019, I can’t help but think of one of my dearest friends and sources of inspiration. In her Social Studies class, Mrs. Meyerson is challenging bias, teaching perspective, and asking BIG questions of her middle schoolers. A first-gen, low-income college graduate and woman of color (in addition to a spectacular friend and crocheter), Mrs. Meyerson shows her students every day that they can. I work at DonorsChoose to elevate the work of teachers like my friend Mrs. Meyerson. So that you and your students can bring classroom dreams to life. Thanks for making students feel seen and heard; teachers, I see you, I hear you, and I’m cheering for you.
Imagine you are giving a pep talk to a very, very tired teacher. What would you say?
Julia, Chief Operating Officer | EVP, People Operations
I was raised by a family of educators and grew up with a deep respect for the important work that you do each and every day. If memory serves me right, you are likely powering through the last few weeks before winter break and could benefit from a pep talk. So, here it goes. First, you matter -- in ways, you might not ever hear about as you power through the demands of such a grueling profession. Second, we have your back. There are 154 of us who work here at DonorsChoose and believe that you are the world’s top expert in knowing and understanding what it takes and what you need to teach your students. Finally, thank you. If you are reading this, then you are part of our DonorsChoose community of teachers who go above and beyond to ensure that their students have the best chance of success. We see you and we appreciate you. Here’s wishing you a very Happy Holidays!
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