Thanks to Our Teachers

June 2nd, 2014

Category: Policy and Practice

Turning the calendar to June signals that another school year is nearing an end. Having family members in the profession (including my wife), I’ve seen the pride and excitement that arrives this time of year as teachers reflect on the year that has passed and how their students have grown.

We know that great teachers and leaders are a key ingredient in creating the best schools for our children, and that the work of teachers extends beyond the classroom. For example, a 2012 report from Scholastic Inc. and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that on average, teachers were working 10 hours and 40 minutes per day, or 53 hours per week! Our educators are heavily invested in their work, and this is a great opportunity to say “thank you.”

I attended Dickinson High School, and one of my favorite teachers, Wayne Vassalotti, was always ready with a kind word of support and encouragement, and truly made an impact on me during my high school career. Years later, I was fortunate to run into him, and he was genuinely excited to see me and hear about my progress since high school. I thanked him and told him how grateful I was to have spent those years learning from him, and he responded, “We had a lot of fun didn’t we?” He truly enjoyed what he did, and though he passed away in 2012, I know myself and many others have fond memories of “Coach Vass.”

Many may assume that teachers have three months of freedom, but it is actually far from the truth. From professional days after students have finished, to working second jobs, and planning for the beginning of another school year, a teacher’s work is never truly done. On behalf of all of us at the Rodel Foundation, thank you to our state’s more than 12,000 dedicated educators!

C.R. McLeod



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