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Because of a Teacher: A Thank You Letter to Teachers

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Dear teachers, a few years ago my

daughter entered kindergarten. She came

in knowing letters but that was about it

and by the end of the year she could put

together entire words and even sentences.

She viewed language as a playground and

reading as a chance to explore a whole

world. I don't completely understand the

science of blending and phonics and

sight words but you do. Miraculously,

millions of students learn to read every

single day because of a teacher. Right

now there's a teacher thinking about his

students. He's dreaming of ways to make

them feel more safe and welcome. And for

a few kids, this is the only place where

they will truly feel safe. Because of a

teacher. There's a language arts teacher

who has taken a full week off of her

lunch period (those blessed 26 minutes to

scarf down a meal) in order to help a

student learn how to read. Although

the progress is slow he will become a

reader because of a teacher. There's a

math teacher who has a room full of kids

who started out the year saying that

they're just not good at math but now

they are geeking out over ways to solve

complex problems. They are learning that

math can be creative and even fun.

They will become problem solvers because

of a teacher. There's a science teacher

who inspires her students to chase after

their questions and on one particular

afternoon they were so excited about

their experiments that they didn't even

notice the bell ring. These kids will

become scientists because of a teacher.

There are history teachers who inspire

students to capture history and a group

of PE teachers who will encourage kids

to get more active and think about their

health. There are technology teachers who

will help kids send their work to the

world and fine arts teachers who will

help kids find their creative voice.

There are foreign language teachers who

are helping children communicate

globally and CTE teachers who will help

prepare students for

all kinds of different jobs. There's a

special ed teacher inspiring her

students to do things that once seemed

impossible. She's building partnerships

with families out of a belief that all

children can learn. And there's this

teacher librarian who will see students

as children and not data; reminding

students that they are more than a test

score. He's creating a makerspace while

inspiring kids to fall in love with

reading. They will become lifelong

learners because of a teacher. Right now,

there's a fourth-grade teacher with a

scribbled up yellow legal pad. She's

dreaming up wild new projects and this

is her 27th year but she's still taking

creative risks. To her, it's no big deal.

It's just what she does. But it's a big

deal to her students. To them, she is a

hero. This year she is making her

students' world epic -- like she always does.

They will remember her forever and she

will change the world in ways that she

cannot even fathom. All of this will

happen because of a teacher. So if you're

a teacher, I just want to say thank you.

You are making a difference every day.

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