Teacher Appreciation Reflections from VA BLOC
“At multiple points during my undergraduate career I found myself extremely grateful for the teachers in my life. Usually around very busy times, and especially when I had to churn out yet another paper, I would think to myself, ‘I am so grateful that I had awesome teachers who gave me an excellent foundation in writing and overall critical thinking.’ I would think of my high school teachers, whose feedback and critiques elevated my writing and constantly pushed me to ask questions. I would reflect on the journals I wrote in middle and elementary school school across all subjects and how the prompts allowed for reflection and creativity. I would think back to my Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers at Newsome Park Elementary School, Ms. Huemer and Ms. Bailey, who were the first teachers to encourage my writing. In their class, I wrote my own books and read them to my classmates. So when I look at this copy of a book I wrote in 1st grade, I don’t just see phonetic spelling and emerging handwriting, I see how their encouragement established a foundation for not only my writing, but my overall approach to education and life. I was and remain inquisitive, imaginative, and fearless. In my new role as a community organizer, those traits serve me well. So, this Teacher Appreciation Week I want to express my deepest gratitude for all of my teachers, and especially my Pre-K through 12 teachers who established the framework I still find myself returning to again and again.”
Other Ways to Show Appreciation
- Thank a Teacher Campaign! You can participate in the Thank A Teacher Campaign via the Virginia Lottery and enter your teacher for a chance to win a vacation. You may submit thank yous online: https://www.valottery.com/thankateacher.aspx. If you would like a paper copy contact Cameron (firstname.lastname@example.org 757-550-1877).
- You can also send a “Thank You” with Farmer’s Insurance to your favorite teachers! Submit a message of appreciation through the Farmer‘s Insurance Thank America’s Teachers Campaign. Teachers who receive thank you messages can then apply for up to $100,000 in grants for educational programs. https://www.farmers.com/thank-americas-teachers/
It is no secret that teachers are underpaid. Did you know that the General Assembly passed a bill, HB2332, which the governor then signed into law, to help Virginia get teacher salaries on par with the national average. To help Virginia reach this goal you can contact your State Delegate and Senator and ask them to continue working towards the goals outlined in HB2332 and allocate funds in the next budget for competitive teacher compensation. Use this website to find your legislators and their contact info: http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/ If you want help drafting your message or want to get more involved in future education advocacy plans reach out to Cameron (email@example.com, 757-550-1877)
- We all know teachers work with passion, dedication, and extreme skill to educate all students. And we know that students come to school with varying experiences and skill sets. When students start school without the foundational learning skills it makes the challenging job teachers already have, that much more challenging. We also know that Pre-K programs help students learn the necessary foundational skills for continued academic success. To help our teachers and our students we ask that you share opportunities for Early Childhood Education here in Hampton Roads. Below you’ll find links for information on Pre-K programs in Hampton and Newport News. Please share widely!
- Hampton City Schools Pre-K and Summer Preschool
- Newport News Public Schools First Step
- Head Start
- For General Info from Hampton Roads Community Action Program Call: (757) 246-9170
- Virginia is currently experiencing a teacher shortage. And like other states across the nation, also lacks high numbers of Black teachers and teachers of color. Black students benefit from having Black teachers and in Hampton our student population for the 2015-2016 school year was 59.8% Black and in Newport News the student population was 53% Black. We need more Black teachers. As we continue to appreciate the wonderful teachers we have now, let’s also encourage the future generation of educators. Here is an opportunity to share with anyone you know who is thinking about a career in education that will assist them with graduate school! Please share widely! https://irt.andover.edu/about/