May 13, 2015
Gracias. Xie xie. Danke. Merci. Grazie. Spasibo. Shukran. There are many ways to say it, but I’ll say it the best way I know how – thank you.
Thank you, Mrs. Martin, for greeting me with smiles and showing me kindergarten wasn’t scary. Thanks to Mrs. Copeland for guiding me to a love of reading and Mrs. Trice for a big old bag of candy for winning the multiplication contest.
Thank you, Mr. Cienich, for teaching me the Canadian National Anthem (which is super useful at many hockey games). Thank you, Mr. Burke, for fostering my energy and creativity and Mrs. Streit, for challenging me to be a better writer. Thanks, Mr. Carey, for making me a star algebra student and Mr. Danes, for making AP chemistry fun (even though I was far from an A student).
Thank you, Mr. Rowan, for waiting to retire until you had the last Weide girl in AP English and Mr. Ballard, for reminding us all that it takes years to build a reputation and just one night to break it.
Thank you. It seems like too small of a sentence to truly express the enormity of gratitude I have for the teachers who have touched my life. That list above is but a sampling of the men and women who gave so much of themselves to make sure I learned, thrived and succeeded – not just as a student, but also as a person of character with drive and determination. They were teachers who made it their business to go beyond just teaching reading and writing. They’re teachers who I couldn’t possibly forget all these years later, because they are all part of who I am today.
That’s a pretty big responsibility, isn’t it? Can you imagine going to work each day with the burden of having that much impact on the lives of young people? How much more important of a job is there? Basically, teachers rock.
Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week, but I was busy thanking nurses since we were celebrating them too. So, like some of my school assignments, I’m a tiny bit late. I’m hoping, like many times back in the day, I’ll be given some slack.
I have no idea how many of my teachers may have gone to MSU, but I’m guessing at least a couple, since the university has been preparing educators for more than 100 years and boasts more than 64,000 current alumni.
The MSU College of Education — known for preparing leaders who empower individuals and communities to reach their full potential — is home to three No. 1 graduate programs: rehabilitation counseling and — for 21 consecutive years — elementary and secondary education, which is pretty darn impressive.
Danah Henriksen is a visiting assistant professor in the college and a member of MSU’s Deep-Play Research Group, which examines the intersection of creativity, teaching, technology and 21st century educational environments. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Learning From The Best, to learn about her research about excellent teachers.
Haley Schulz graduated last weekend from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources with a degree in environmental studies and sustainability and agriscience. While she’s not a professional teacher, she got a taste of what it’s like to stand in front of a class during her study abroad trip in Belize. While navigating the language barrier, she found a colleague in an eight-year-old student who jumped in to help. Read her STUDENT VIEW: Celebrate Success, to learn more about this impressive young woman.
Like the bumper sticker says, if you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can’t actually track them down and thank them, take a minute to appreciate what teachers have done for you. Take another moment to appreciate the MSU graduates who have chosen to be teachers. All over this world, Spartan teachers are going above and beyond, educating the leaders of tomorrow.
Photo by G.L. Kohuth