Every year, we take the time to show our teachers appreciation in May. They do work that they don’t always get recognized for. The past few years, especially, were very challenging. Our teachers have tried their best to bring the classroom to you, even if you all couldn’t be there in person. How will you thank your teachers this year?
It isn’t an exaggeration when adults share that a few teachers made a huge difference in their life. Hi! I’m Allison, your SWENext reporter, and I would like to share my own experience.
In fourth grade, I had a teacher who was very excited about STEM. Her science lessons were always a blast. She also encouraged us in activities like Science Fair and Science Olympics. She taught us to remain curious.
She saw that I liked reading, and in fact was reading at the high school level. I read at home all the time, but I didn’t like silent sustained reading at school with the rest of the class. She also saw that I was really good at math. Because she knew that there was an extra math class that might help me continue to excel, she signed me up.
I got to go to another classroom and take extra math lessons during the time that the other students in my class would be doing silent sustained reading. At that age, I was supposed to be learning division and geometry, and I was learning advanced algebra in the extra class.
It was really fun, and I learned a lot. By the time I got to middle school, I was one year ahead in math. Now that I am an adult, I have earned three degrees in Engineering. My fourth grade teacher’s involvement in my curriculum made a huge difference.
She and I still keep in touch today and I remind her how much she is appreciated. Can you think of a time when a teacher has helped you? How might you show them how grateful you are to them?
First, take a moment to reflect on the things that your teacher might have done that made a difference to you. Did they support you emotionally when something sad or bad happened? Did they see that you were really good at a subject and gave you extra tools to continue doing well? Did they see that you were struggling with a subject and helped you figure it out?
Next brainstorm, how you can best show your appreciation with meaning. Perhaps you could write your teacher a note or make them a card. You could tell them what you appreciate about them. You could tell them what they taught you that matters to you the most. You could also share your favorite memory in class. Now that it is so close to the end of the school year, you could also write what you will miss the most if you are getting a new teacher next year.
Great teachers can make a real difference in your STEM journey, so be sure to take a moment to show that you appreciate them!