I’ve been attending or working in a school 9 months out of the year for every one of my last 27 years, from pre-school to finally working under a teacher’s contract as of last January. I’ve had a lot of teachers and met a lot of students. It’s no secret that teachers do more than just impart knowledge to students. I’ve seen teachers work as counselors, cooks, nurses, therapists, meteorologists, coaches, motivational speakers, garbage collectors and more.
With all these roles, teaching can be a bit overwhelming. Looking back over my career in the classroom, there were so many teachers that impacted me. My middle school art teachers, who let me spend many of my afternoons creating, my AP English teacher who fostered my continuing love for all things Steinbeck, the college professors who encouraged me to write an honors thesis and present at conferences and all of the other caring, patient adults I interacted with as I grew up really helped shape who I am now. As a teacher, the impact of other teachers has not diminished at all. I owe a debt of gratitude to my high school history teacher, who first let me intern in his classroom when I was still a student. My cooperating teachers, who doubt that I could manage a classroom at all, have fueled my desire to prove otherwise since 2007. My co-workers have pushed me and encouraged me to try new things professionally and in my classroom since the moment I got my first job in Maine and continuing through my current role in the Berkshires, despite my breakdowns in department meetings, lack of full time status until recently, and inexperience in my field. Very few of these lessons have to do with content specifically; they’re about life. Teachers have taught me to set high goals and not to give up. If there’s a group of people that have really changed my life, it’s teachers.
When I think about all that the teachers I know have done for me, I want to pass that encouragement on to my students. For six hours each day I have the opportunity to be a really positive force in my students’ lives. I’m even more inspired when I see videos of other incredible teachers, like this one:
It can take a lot to be a teacher though. There’s a constant stream of work to be done, the regulations are always changing, students can be exhausting and unappreciative, and more often than not, teachers are supplementing the supplies in the classroom with their own purchases, especially in underfunded areas. For many of us, that’s just part of the job. You need pencils, binders, calculators of lab materials for your students? Then you go out and buy them. That’s why I’m excited to let you know about the Adopt-a-Classroom program from Office Depot.
Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness about teachers, and all that they do in the lives of their students. Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization that helps connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students. Teachers all over the country and in your local area are doing amazing, innovative things in their classrooms and you can help them do more by donating. Are you a teacher who could use more resources to change lives in your school? Register on Adopt-a-Classroom and let people help you.
- How to Register Your Classroom as a Teacher
- How to Donate to a Teacher
If you have any stories of teachers that changed your life, I’d love to read them in the comments. We could all use more inspiration!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.