How does your school celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week?
Most people, when asked who their favorite teacher was when they were a kid, get a soft expression on their face and offer up a name with a hint of reverence. Great teachers are remembered.
Researchers at Harvard and Columbia Universities have discovered that great teachers can make huge differences in their students’ test scores and lifetime earnings as an adult. But when we think of the teachers we loved, we don’t usually give them credit for raising our yearly salaries.
Instead, when you read through the #ThankATeacher twitter posts in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, you see gratitude like this: thank you for never accepting second-tier work; thank you for taking extra time to answer questions that were out of left field; thank you for introducing me to Shakespeare. We thank teachers for inspiration, snacks, kindness, compassion, and for encouraging us to be curious.
Even President Barack Obama remembered one of his most influential teachers from fifth grade. “Ms. Hefty taught me that I had something to say — not in spite of my differences, but because of them. She made every single student in that class feel special.”
What makes a great teacher? This question has been pondered many times all over the Internet, television, and radio. Here are just a few of the answers.
- “Sometimes, great teaching happens when we simply provide the resources and challenges and get out of the way.” Ken Bain
- “Getting people to think about what they think, and asking them questions about it, is the best way I know how to teach.” Eleanor Duckworth
- “…great teaching includes the ability to give good feedback and to make assessments.” Ken Bain
- “What makes a great teacher is being kind.” student
- “Someone who can make learning fun and someone who can be funny and focused at the same time.” student
- “Great teachers seem to capture the artistry and science of teaching.” Jose Torres
- “They have a ‘can do’ attitude that instills self-confidence in students.” Neil Pedersen
- “It’s a passion for a subject, an inherently caring attitude, the ability to trigger receptiveness to learning in children, and a knack for coaching kids in fun ways.” Art Javis
- “A great teacher uncovers hidden treasures, possibilities and magic right before everyone’s eyes.” Rasul Alrubail
- “The one thing that does not change is that great teachers love their students and their work.” Ellie Herman