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Let’s Take Time to Thank our Teachers!

It's National Teacher Appreciation Week

Guest Editorial / Op-Ed

FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla. – When you look back on your life and see who the most influential people that helped shape you into the person you are today were, for many of us, a teacher or two makes that list. After all, outside of our parents or caregivers, teachers have the most direct influence on our lives when we’re the most impressionable.

It’s in that spirit that we acknowledge all that our teachers have done – and continue to do – for our society during National Teacher Appreciation Week.

Dr. Hanbury - Web sizeTeachers are a rare breed – they aren’t pursuing a career that is going to make them a millionaire or allow them to live a jet-set lifestyle. Ask any  teacher and to a person they will tell you it is something they truly love, a calling if you will, that they had at an early age. They do it because they love it, not because they are going to get rich or famous.

 Their payoff is the look on a child’s face when they finally get that math concept that had been eluding them.  Or the child who conquers their fear and stands in front of their classmates and delivers a powerful speech. Or seeing a student walk across the stage and get their diploma, knowing what a difficult journey that was. To them, the results of their work is truly priceless, and for that, we take time to say thank you.

But we cannot look at the teaching profession without acknowledging that it is under attack on a number of fronts. Nearly 50 percent of new teachers are leaving the profession within their first five years. There are many reasons for that – from the low salaries dedicated for new teachers, to little or no support from their school or district when they enter the classroom for the first time, to what many in the profession say is a declining respect for the job itself.

That’s why colleges of education, such as NSU’s Abraham S. Fischler College of Education, are rededicating themselves to ensuring they not only provide students with the knowledge and abilities to become teachers, but to also work with school districts locally and nationwide, to find out what more can be done to support their newest educators so they can be successful.

So as we recognize National Teacher Appreciation Week, I encourage those of you who have children in school to take a moment to thank their teachers for all they do each and every day. If you are a student, please thank your teachers as they are helping you achieve your goals. If you’re a graduate,  reach out to those former teachers who had the most influence on you and say thanks for all they did for you when you were in school.

It’s time we re-establish some of the luster that the teaching professions has lost over the years, and what a better way to start than during National Teacher Appreciation Week.

Thank you, teachers!

 

Dr. George Hanbury
NSU President & CEO

 

Writers note: Normally National Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated the first week of May. This year, however, the national week is set for May 7-12. That being said, many school districts across the country — including Broward County, home to Nova Southeastern University’s main campus — are still celebrating during the first week, May 1-5.

 

May 2, 2017